After various user reports, Facebook has confirmed that they’re testing out a new ‘Messenger Streaks’ option, which aims to inspire more engagement on the platform by letting you know when you have an active streak going.
Messenger is testing out streak counts... Streak counts really bug me. pic.twitter.com/leDRemkSR3— case (@CaseSandberg) November 22, 2017
As you can see, the new prompts will let you know you have a streak going, which could prompt you to interact more. Aside from the pop-up, users may also see a lightning bolt next to the name of a person they’ve messaged with for at least three days in a row, with a counter to indicate how many consecutive days they’ve been interacting.
Facebook’s says they’re testing the option to measure user response, with no further plans to share at this stage.
So will it work? Could the addition of streaks get more people messaging, more often?
As with many of Facebook’s more recent product innovations, the inspiration here again comes from Snapchat.
On Snapchat, ‘Snap Streaks’ are hugely popular, particularly among younger users – Snap users see numeric counts of their streaks, and are rewarded with different emojis as their interactions rise.
There have been various reports of the addictive nature of Snap Streaks among teens, and the efforts they’ll go to in order to maintain them.
losing a snapchat streak with someone hurts as much as a break up lol— DmC (@danmarieeee) March 20, 2017
With Messenger streaks, Facebook’s looking to tap into that same, compulsive nature – though the varying use-case for Messenger in difference to Snapchat may not seem them as readily adopted.
But it’s probably worth a shot. Sure, some people will be annoyed by the reminder, and some will criticize another blatant copy of Snapchat’s functionality. But some, particularly those not on Snapchat, might find it interesting. And if that increases engagement, the experiment will be worth it.
If not, user can ignore it and Facebook will drop it. No harm done.
It’ll be interesting to see whether users welcome the new option, and whether it helps boost Messenger engagement.