Nobody Wants Facebook Stories - Please Just Stop

I see you, Facebook Stories. Taking up a third of the top of my news feed and for what? A failed experiment that the people are unhappy about.

As you may remember, back in April 2017 (bloody ‘eck it’s been a while), Facebook forcefully introduced a stories platform onto their app - gunning to take out Snapchat who turned down an acquisition deal.

We’ve all had a go with it, posted one picture then never used it again, as it felt rather counterproductive to the type of engagement it seemed Facebook wanted from you. 

Before, it was work with permanence: a variety of text, pictures and video that this app handily collated and presented to your network of friends. 

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The system works, but to then introduce content with a self destructive timer and no way to interact except for maybe sending a message or (as most of us do) just looking at it, just doesn’t fit - like nearly finishing a jigsaw puzzle of rolling country hills, but deciding to ruin it by forcing a piece of clear blue sky right in the middle of a hill.

… You may realise that I have a lot to say on this topic (and that I do so with more of my “grumpy Nottinghamite” persona than usual). A decade of social media marketing experience weathers you and much like Vero, Peach or Google+, something just seems off to me, like this will be an elongated flash in the pan. And I bring stories up again in the light of news that Facebook continues to aggressively expand their stories platform, adding the opportunity to share events.

So, let’s put my predictions to the test. Happy to admit if my bets are misguided and tell the world I’m wrong. Maybe it’s widely used and I’m just a miserable old sod who’s out of touch. How many people actually use it?

According to usage statistics, that number is around the 300 million daily active users mark, which sounds like a ridiculous success for the platform (both Facebook and Messenger combined). But with the fact that over 2 billion people are using these apps at any one time, this is just a drop in the ocean, compared to the far higher percentage of active story users across the likes of Snapchat and Instagram.

This number was generated over nearly two years, and I applaud Facebook’s tenacity and dedication in seeing something through to completion. But they have to admit this experiment isn’t working sooner rather than later.

Think. I mean seriously, think about this - not like when you’re asked what to eat at a restaurant, because you know planning ahead just leads to picking the wrong dish and, ultimately, misery.

Can you remember a time you saw your friends using Facebook Stories, which wasn’t just an automatic share from Instagram Stories? I can’t, and it’s doubtful you do either.

In all my years of obsessively following futurism, one thing has been clear - to get clearer picture of things looking ahead, look to the past. And the past has not been kind to this certain feature. So I ask of you, please, Facebook, just leave it out.