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Facebook Stories launched yesterday and my reaction was a kind of “meh.”

Big deal, the social network is featuring some of the cutest and warmest and heart-tuggingest status updates. Pink puppies and other people’s achingly poignant memories?

I have enough, thanks.

And it’s not even new. Mark Zuckerberg announced basically the same thing way back in July 2010.


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But today I think I completely missed the point. And maybe most of us haven’t realized the true power and full potential of Facebook Stories. Frankly, it’s possible that Facebook itself doesn’t know what kind of a tiger it has created.

This morning, in the fresh light of a new dawn, I think it’s nothing less than the future of news.

Above: Facebook Stories: imagine many, many more dots. At much higher resolution

Image Credit: John Koetsier

OK, maybe more People than Time. But still. Work with me.

Today, Facebook has just picked a few stories to highlight. Not at random, but just a few — seven to be exact. But, in true you-are-the-product modern social network style, Facebook is asking you to Add Your Story. And get a chance to Be Famous.

Hurry up.

The first 10 minutes of this social experience will make some people famous. But anything after that … you’ll have to settle for world-famous in your home town.

Because this is a perfect platform for local social news.

Imagine the best stories, from everyone not just in your limited social circle, but everyone in your community. The high school football team. The concerts at the state fair. The new road city council is pushing through the former playground.

Let’s define community widely, of course. It is your local regional physical space, yes. But, as Facebook and Flipboard and Twitter have already taught us, it’s our interest community as much if not more.

So it’s also any political or technology or global news, if it’s in your interest category. But that’s not the focus, because Facebook is ultimately about people, and Facebook Stories is about how they use … well … Facebook … to share.

And share, and share, and share we will.

There’s a reason that Facebook has pushed hard, year after year, to decrease privacy. When Mark Zuckerberg says social by default, he means public by default. And when your status updates are set to public, Facebook will be able to someday take them and populate them into a billion different Facebook Stories. Seven billion in fact: a personalized slice of social local news for every one of us.

The transformation from social utility to global publisher will be complete.

Book deal to follow … or book deals, one for every geographical social political sexual religious ethnic age interest slice of humanity.

Amazing, wonderful, and scary. It’s the future.

Image credit: Brian A. Jackson/ShutterStock

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