It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but your Facebook Messenger app is getting another Snapchat feature. The social media company today announced the launch of Messenger Day, the chat app’s version of Snapchat Stories and Instagram Stories. Previously, the ephemeral post feature was available to some users in Poland, but now it’s starting to roll out globally across iOS and Android devices.
Using Messenger Day is pretty straightforward: Within the updated Messenger app, tap the camera button or the “add to your day” rectangle at the top of your inbox. Take a photo (selfies count, too), and apply art and effects by tapping the smiley face icon in the top right of the screen. There are more than 5,000 frames, effects, and stickers that you can choose from. Text can also be inserted. If you’re familiar with Instagram Stories, then Messenger Day should be easy. All photos and videos will remain viewable on Messenger for 24 hours before disappearing.
A “Day” can also include conversations that you’re having with friends or with a group of people. If a photo or video has been sent, the app will prompt you to determine whether it should be added to your Day. Tap the text, and it’ll be inserted into your continuous journal of the past 24 hours.
You’ll also be able to see what others have posted in their Days, as Facebook Messenger’s home screen now includes a carousel showing friends who have posted updates to their Day.
There are also controls that let you manage who sees your Day, whether it’s everyone you talk to on Messenger, your closest friends and family, or a custom audience. There’s also the ability to find out who has viewed your Day. And if you’re over moments shared in a Day, they can be quickly deleted.
Should we be shocked that Facebook Messenger is receiving ephemeral messaging? Probably not, since it offers up more ways for people to communicate in a manner that they feel comfortable with. While Instagram was previously the only Facebook property with this feature, its audience may be slightly different from the more than 1 billion monthly active users on Messenger, especially in terms of usage. Messenger Day will likely accelerate engagement and sharing — after all, the app is all about conversations.
As Facebook builds out its Messenger platform, it’s feasible that the company will put more resources into facilitating conversations between brands and people. Much as you see stories from brands you follow on Snapchat, it might at some point become possible to see branded stories through Messenger Day. That would allow businesses to promote new products, specials, or other marketing campaigns and encourage customers to send messages inquiring further about these goods and services.
Let’s also not forget about the potential advertising opportunities here. As Facebook explores the potential for ads within the app, in the future we might begin seeing sponsored moments within our Days, targeted by past behavior, interests, people we follow or converse with, and more.
To begin using Messenger Day, you’ll have to update the app. Just remember that since the feature’s rolling out globally, you may not immediately have access to it.