One of Facebook’s Snapchat clones is launching worldwide today within Facebook Messenger, after a previous soft launch in countries including Poland and Australia. Called “Messenger Day,” the new feature will allow Messenger users to post updates that disappear after 24 hours.
The twist with Messenger Day, according to Facebook, is that the app’s filters and features encourage users to create new plans in the moment, instead of revisiting things your friends have already done like on Snapchat.
To facilitate this, Messenger Day includes a collection of photo and video filters — like the time of day or call-outs asking to grab food — that will provide appropriate context for friends viewing posts. According to Facebook VP of messaging David Marcus, who spoke with TechCrunch, this will let Facebook Messenger users snap a quick photo, add a frame, and see if any of their friends are up for going grab a coffee or watching a movie, without having to text individual people or post on Facebook itself.
“This is about today. It’s not about yesterday. It’s not about tomorrow” Marcus tells me. “The 2 key functionalities are 1. I’m going to set context because it’s going to make for better conversations if people know where I am and what I’m doing. And 2. It’s about where I want to take my day, like ‘I’m bored and I want to go out for coffee’ or ‘I want to go see a movie’ so I’m going to use a frame, take a photo, and see which of my friends are going to engage with me to actually make that plan, because planning is one of the core capabilities of a messaging app.”
Like Instagram Stories, Messenger Day sits atop Facebook Messenger and shows the days of your friends in a row of horizontal icons that autoplay one after another when viewed. Users can interact with specific posts by sending a message to the poster, and an “Active Now” indicator will let users know who is online and available to meet up with in the moment.
All of the usual doodling options, filters, and stickers of other apps will also be found in Messenger Day. For its plan-making filters, Facebook said that there are over 5,000 of them, including invites to going for a run, grabbing drinks, and other activities. Users can even create custom filters through text.
This is where Messenger Day’s unique slant on Stories for messaging comes in. The searchable, categorized filters include calls to action like “Who’s up for grabbing coffee?”, “Road trip”, “Movie night?”, “Let’s grab drinks”, “Let’s go for a run”, and tons more. These make it easy and fun to invite friends to hang out with you offline.
And unlike posting “who wants to grab dinner?” on Facebook where a lack of responses could make you look unpopular, the posts disappear and all replies in Messenger Day are private so you don’t have to worry about seeming lonely.
Including Messenger Day, Facebook’s Snapchat copying has grown to include Instagram Stories, WhatsApp Status, and the yet-to-launch-worldwide Facebook Stories. Within Facebook Messenger, some users noticed recently that a few of the company’s “Reactions” have been made available to respond to friends’ messages, including a new thumbs-down option.
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