The thinking among Facebook strategists could easily have followed this route: since Snapchat Stories was successfully incorporates into Instagram, why not try the same thing with Messenger which has a far bigger audience than Snapchat and Instagram combined?
Fair enough. Stealing ideas from competitors is very common in the tech world. And Snapchat has been guilty of that in the past too.
But why Poland of all places to try this feature? You could argue that Facebook wanted to test it in a place where Snapchat is not too popular; and if the people like it there, they might think twice about using Snapchat in the future when they become aware of it.
But why didn’t they chose a country where Snapchat is not very popular and also has a huge population? Nigeria for instance. There is a huge community of Messenger users in Nigeria. And at the same time, Snapchat is yet to gain any sort of foothold in the country.
Sometimes, you get to wonder how these execs arrive at these decisions. It gives one the belief there is systemic discrimination against third world countries when it comes to testing products like this. And Facebook is not the only guilty party here.
Anyway, back to the Messenger Day feature. When contacted by Techcrunch about the new feature, Facebook released this statement to them:
We know that people come to Messenger to share everyday moments with friends and family. In Poland we are running a small test of new ways for people to share those updates visually. We have nothing more to announce at this time.”
Some similarities between Messenger Day and Snapchat Stories
Like Snapchat Stories, Messenger Day allow users to curate series of pictures or videos and upload them for friends to see. These would disappear after 24 hours.
Again, Messenger Day, just like Snapchat Stories, comes with filters that can be used to make a picture or video more fun to look at.
Messenger Day’s filters are more interesting though. The filters in ‘Day’ also contain graphics that make suggestions to the user on what to share apart from the normal filters in Snapchat Stories for events and places you have been to.
Using Messenger Day
In the Messenger user interface, the Messenger Day tab appears at the top of the conversation list. It is easy to spot if you are familiar with Snapchat Stories or the Instagram Version.
There are two tabs. The first is Your Day, followed by the stuff your friends also posted. Which is where you are likely to spend most of your time as your view what your friends are posting.
Of course, the time spend on Messenger Day would depend largely on the number of friends you have who are interested in using the feature.
Before posting your photos or videos, you can also tweak them by adding cartoon figures, drawings or graphics.
Outlook for Messenger Day
There is no guarantee that Messenger Day is going to be rolled out permanently to the rest of the world after the test in Poland. Everything would depend on how the the test-run went.
I see this as one of the ways Facebook intends to make Messenger the sort of app that users would spend hours on doing all sort of things. The longer the better.
The overall picture is not hard to understand. Facebook is investing a lot in the future of Messenger.
image credits: techweez.com; theverge.com; techcrunch.com; wired.com