It may have been popularised by Snapchat (190 million users as of April 2019), but numbers show that ‘Stories’ has been a more successful feature for Facebook. As compared to Snapchat, Facebook (and Messenger), Instagram, and WhatsApp had 500 million users each. Now, it seems that Facebook Inc wants to increase the number of people that use ‘Stories’. The company is now testing ‘Group Stories’ – the same feature that was rolled out on Facebook but was shut down last month – on Instagram.
Spotted by Jane Manchun Wong, who reverse-engineers apps for hidden features and security vulnerabilities, Group Stories will enable users to share a story with only the members of a specific group. In short, this feature will let users share videos or images with an even refined group of people than Instagram’s ‘Close Friends’ feature, which allows users to make a list of a select group of people to share personal moments.
Instagram is testing Group Story pic.twitter.com/zNKaV19kYA— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) 5 October 2019
The move comes a few days after the company introduced Threads standalone messaging app that helps users stay connected with ‘Close Friends’ in a dedicated, private space on Instagram. The primary difference between Threads and Group Stories will be the target audience. 'Threads' is basically an extension of Close Friends feature that will allow users to connect only with close friends, but Group Stories will further shorten the group.
For example, if you have a group of friends who like football, you can share info related to the sport in a ‘Close Friends’ group because you have football as a common subject. But if you like Spanish football, you can share info on a smaller group in Threads. However, if you follow a particular team like FC Barcelona, you can further limit the members by only choosing those who follow FC Barcelona.
Further, given that the feature was pulled back from Facebook, it should be noted that the feature may not be rolled out at all. A clearer picture of this feature works is expected to be revealed in the coming days.