Following the trend of my latest blogs, I will begin this one with another study abroad anecdote. Given that I’m away in London, my friends can attest to the fact that my Snapchat Stories have become increasingly annoying. Now that I’m based in a new city, albeit for a short period of time, I constantly find things to update my feed with. In all honesty though, I do so simply because I only have friends and family that I’m comfortable sharing the most mundane and insane aspects of my life with on Snapchat. Therefore, when Facebook followed suit to Instagram’s move of copying Snapchat’s story feature, I was a little surprised.
Snapchat Stories work because no one has their kindergarten teacher or mom or “friend” that you used to hang out with in fourth grade on their Snapchat. However, all these people are very likely to be a part of your Facebook network. It’s understandable why Facebook thought it would be a good decision to mirror the features offered by Snapchat. The social network goliath wants to be the end-all, be-all of social media, and hence is trying very hard to give users everything they might desire in an app, in one online destination. Nonetheless, in the desperation to surpass Snapchat, Facebook has forgotten the purpose with which people use the website.
Facebook is a great place to find long-lost friends and catch up with people and relatives from your hometown. But are you really comfortable displaying what you’re doing at a given point of time to this wide array of people? Facebook has overlooked the fact that its 1.7 billion users have tons of friends, which include grandparents, employers and colleagues. No one is going to want to use their stories feature because they wouldn’t want all of these people to bear witness to their crazy antics. Similarly, on the other hand, given that the person who posts the story can see who has viewed their story, none of their friends would want them to know that they’ve been creeping on their profile. Honestly, the story feature just takes away from the anonymity that so many have us have benefitted from over the years. Sure, you want to know how your childhood friend’s vacation to Costa Rica was but you don’t want them knowing that you super-stalked their album.
All in all, Miranda Kerr can put her concerns about Facebook copying Snapchat to rest. Although they were legally able to blatantly duplicate the feature on their app, I hardly see any of my friends use it. We’re all just better off sticking with Snapchat for that.