Facebook appears to be working on yet another Snapchat-like experience. The social networking giant is working on a new feature that allows a group of friends to secretly share photos and other updates that disappear after 24 hours. New screenshots demonstrate the company’s experiments.
No plans to release it broadly
Tiffany Zhong, an analyst at venture capital firm Binary Capital, was the first person to notice the feature called “Quick Updates.” Apart from Zhong, many other users have also reported seeing the test.
Quick updates live in the primary Facebook application behind the new smiley face icon in the top-right corner of the app. From there, you can add your friends to the group and see each other’s updates. The updates could be in the form of photos, videos and texts and can be seen by everyone added in the group, but the updates last only for 24 hours. After that, the 24-hour window showing the updates will disappear.
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According to Facebook, Quick Update was an old test, and it had no plans to make the feature available to more users.
“We often conduct small tests of new feature concepts, and this particular experience was an old test feature that was shown to some people. We don’t have any plans to launch it more broadly,” a Facebook spokesperson said.
Copying Snapchat or encouraging users to share more?
Its uncertain why Facebook is even testing such a feature for its app. The social networking giant already features a standalone app for Groups and allows people to secretly share photos with a group of friends with its recently launched feature Moments.
But it appears the company is again trying to play with a Snapchat-like feature (remember Slingshot). It’s well-documented that Facebook has tried hard to imitate and follow Snapchat’s success with its various apps and services. No matter how hard it tried, none of its attempts have been even nearly successful.
In Facebook’s favor, it can be said that it is looking to encourage users to share more updates. Earlier this year, Bloomberg claimed that personal sharing on the platform is dropping and that the company has employed a dedicated team to address this issue. Nevertheless, it still offers an interesting look on how the social networking giant wants to encourage private sharing.
Facebook hit an all-time high on Wednesday after it announced that it now has 1 billion users on its messaging app, with 200 million new users since the beginning of the year. On Thursday, Facebook shares closed down 1.07% at $120.61. Year to date, the stock is up almost 14%, while in the last year, it is up 27%.