Facebook Stories is a ghost town, Stories don’t fit on Facebook, why would anyone use it?
While it’s true that Facebook Stories haven’t taken off the way Instagram Stories have, this new test could change things - take a look at this Facebook Stories frame:
What’s that at the bottom? That, my friends, would be a link.
Spotted by French user Valentin Blanchot (and shared by social media advisor Matt Navarra), Facebook is indeed now testing links in Facebook Stories.
When reached for comment, Facebook provided SMT with the following statement:
“Many people come to Facebook to share and have conversations about articles that interest them. So, we're testing the ability to share links in Stories, just like you can on News Feed.”
The ability to share links in Facebook Stories could be significant – while Facebook Stories currently only has around 150 million daily active users (by comparison to 400 million daily actives for Instagram Stories), Stories do have particularly prominent placement, right at the top of the main feed screen.
And with Pages and publishers losing organic reach and referral traffic due to Facebook’s algorithm shifts, they’re looking for every way they can to counter such losses. Could links in Stories provide a new avenue to consider, a new option to prop up declining performance?
Could this be how we see Stories become a much bigger focus for Facebook overall?
Indeed, Facebook has repeatedly stated that Stories are the future of social sharing, with the option on track to overtake the News Feed as the primary social engagement option sometime this year. That has long seemed like an ambitious growth outlook, but maybe, if more Pages and publishers had the capacity to share direct links, and drive traffic via Stories, it could accelerate the option’s growth.
You would expect, like Instagram, that if Facebook does allow links in Stories more broadly, that there would be some limitations on access – Pages would need to be at a certain audience threshold, for example, to avoid it becoming a link-driven spam-fest. It’ll be interesting to see how that develops, and whether Facebook, if they do push ahead with the option, look to roll it out.
However you look at it, it’s an interesting consideration. We’ll keep you updated on any updates on the Stories test.