There's a new way to share your life on Facebook, and you may already be familiar with it.
Facebook Stories is the latest Snapchat-like feature to roll out on the company's main app. Even if you're not a Snapper, you're probably already familiar with the concept -- these ephemeral stories have been popping up on other Facebook-owned services like Instagram, WhatsApp and . But the one on your Facebook feed may look a little bit different. Here's what you need to know before you try it out.
It's not available to everyone (yet)
Stories is available as of March 28, but not everyone is getting it at the same time. Close out of the app and make sure you've upgraded to the latest version before you log in again. If you still don't see a change to your feed, you may just have to wait.
There are two ways to see Stories
There are two ways to access Stories: Scroll to the top of your feed to view your friends' Stories and create your own, or just swipe right from any screen. You can't "like" Stories, but you can reply to them.
Posting is a lot like Instagram Stories
If you've used Snapchat, Instagram Stories or WhatsApp status, this part should be straightforward. All the icons on the Facebook version have similar functions. Press the circular button at the bottom for a picture, or press and hold for a video from either the main or front camera.
It's all about the filters
The main difference between Facebook Stories and Instagram Stories is the filters. While Instagram lets you add stickers after a photo or video has been taken, Facebook lets you add an animated filter or border before you begin recording.
Instead of swiping left and right, like you do on Snapchat, on Facebook you swipe up and down to access your "favorite" filters (the last eight filters you used). If you don't find one that fits your mood, click the magic wand icon on the bottom left-hand corner to view a full library of them. Some, like the crying rainbow, are reminiscent of old Snapchat filters, while others like the Van Gogh effect seem to be unique to Facebook.
You have a lot more filters and skins to chose from than on Snapchat, but you won't be able to add emojis or stickers to Stories after. Here you're limited to text and scribbles.
Videos can be 20 seconds long
Facebook lets you roll video for up to 20 seconds before the record circle cuts you off. Instagram Stories only gives you 15 seconds of video, and Snapchat caps it off at 10 seconds.
You can save Stories to your camera roll
Once you're done creating your story, press the down arrow to save on your camera roll, or the center arrow to share. You can send as a message to any of your friends, post to your timeline or add to your Story.
And decide who sees it (kind of)
If you post to your timeline it will appear at the top of your profile as if it were any other picture or video. And just like posting to your Timeline, you can decide who sees it (Public, Friends and so on).
But posting to your "Story" will make it available to every one of your friends for a 24-hour period and will appear as a bubble at the top of their feeds. Right now, there's no way to select who sees -- or doesn't see -- your Story.
'Direct' stories can be replayed
If a friend sends you a story directly, you can play it twice before it disappears.
You can see who viewed your story
To see who has viewed your story, just do what you would using the rest of the apps mentioned before. Click on your story and go to the view icon at the bottom right. You can delete a story by pressing on the buttons on the three dots at the top.
But be careful...
Just be careful of what you post on your Story. Just because it self-destructs after 24 hours,doesn't mean it truly disappears. As of March 28, Facebook doesn't let you know when someone takes a screenshot of your story.