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Facebook takes on Snapchat Stories with vanishing daily videos

Messenger Day is Facebook's latest bid to keep up with the ever-changing tastes of social media's cool kids.

Katie Collins Senior European Correspondent
Katie a UK-based news reporter and features writer. Officially, she is CNET's European correspondent, covering tech policy and Big Tech in the EU and UK. Unofficially, she serves as CNET's Taylor Swift correspondent. You can also find her writing about tech for good, ethics and human rights, the climate crisis, robots, travel and digital culture. She was once described a "living synth" by London's Evening Standard for having a microchip injected into her hand.
Katie Collins
2 min read
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Watch this: Facebook Messenger copies Snapchat Stories to stay hip

Social media content that disappears in a puff of smoke after 24 hours is hot right now, and Facebook can't ignore it.

The social network introduced a new feature on Thursday as part of its standalone Messenger app that lets you tell the story of what's going on in your day as part of your status.

Called Messenger Day, the feature provides easy, one-swipe access to your phone camera to snap or film whatever's going on in your world at that moment in time. You can then choose from thousands of stickers and effects to decorate your photo.

Once your artwork is completed, there are several things you can do with it. You can choose to send it to a friend or five, or you can add it to your story, which shows up at the top of your Messenger home screen.

Crucially, you can control exactly who can see your story, so not every one of your distant acquaintances and relatives can use it to snoop on your life if you'd rather they didn't. After 24 hours, each video or photo will self-combust to make way for the next day's adventures.

Sound familiar? It should.

Messenger Day is, like many other features Facebook has introduced over the past few years, similar to things we've seen from surging upstart Snapchat -- a company Facebook memorably tried and failed to buy. Snapchat, which last week rocked its Wall Street debut, introduced its Stories feature back in 2013, allowing people to add snippets to a daily video that played in chronological order before disappearing after 24 hours.


24 hours later... poof! It's gone.


Last year Facebook-owned Instagram also added a Stories feature that can be accessed along the top of the app's home screen or through individual profiles.

It's no surprise to see Facebook integrate the feature into its homegrown apps too, as it's been testing the feature in Ireland for the last few months. Disappearing content is a bang-on trend right now and a key way to help Facebook keep younger users on its side.

"The way people want to share today is different than it was five or 10 years ago," Facebook said in a statement explaining its strategy. "Communication is becoming more visual than ever, and people want lightweight, easy ways to share throughout the day."

Messenger Day is available immediately on iOS and Android. Just make sure you update your Messenger app and you should be good to go.

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