Facebook Tests a New Option to Cross-Post Instagram Stories to Facebook
Last month, Facebook started rolling out Facebook Stories - their Snapchat-clone within Facebook proper - to desktop users, with a new dedicated space being added to the top right of the desktop window.
So what, right? Nobody uses Facebook Stories anyway.
That would appear to be true - of all Facebook's various Stories additions, Facebook Stories appears, thus far, to have been the least successful, at least anecdotally.
While Facebook has seen major success with Instagram Stories, which is now at 250 million daily users, they've yet to report any official user numbers on Facebook Stories, which has been available for more than six months. That would suggest that those numbers are probably not impressive.
But then again, as we noted in reporting about the desktop version, Facebook Stories could still become a more significant element, if they just made a few tweaks. And now, they're trying out their latest 'tweak', with some users seeing an option to share their Instagram Story direct to Facebook.
In translation (via Google Translate), 'A tua historia no Facebook' means 'Your story on Facebook', and as you can see in the second shot from a Facebook Story frame, Instagram is listed as the source. Facebook has since confirmed the test, which is live for some users in Portugal.
So why would that be such a big deal? How could this make Facebook Stories more relevant?
As noted, it's another tweak, which, in combination with a few other elements, could be very significant.
Last month, Facebook also started rolling out Live Stories, with a prominent Live indicator on your Facebook Stories bubble whenever you 'go live'.
And there's another advantage here - see that last image at the far right? When you do start a live broadcast, you get the double exposure of a live indicator, featured at the top of your connections' News Feed and a post within News Feed itself. That gives you two chances to catch your audience as you broadcast, and after, which is an important consideration for those looking to maximize their reach.
Facebook also recently provided the capacity for users to create public Stories.
So, soon you might have the capacity to reach a much wider potential audience, get your content featured prominently at the top of the News Feed - prime real estate for anyone looking to maximize reach - and to cross-post direct from Instagram, essentially doubling-up your potential exposure (with the same amount of effort).
Still think Facebook Stories is a waste of time?
Of course, Facebook Stories is only available on personal profiles, they haven't opened it up to Pages. Yet.
Facebook recently told TechCrunch that they have "no specific timing to share" on the rollout of Stories for Pages just yet, which implies that the option is coming. And really, that seems like a no-brainer - there's a prominent News Feed space which could be utilized to maximize engagement, Stories have become an established element on Instagram, as opposed to an annoyance, people are open to Stories content, so long as it's relevant.
No doubt Facebook will open Stories up to Pages soon, which would be a welcome opportunity for Pages to reach their Facebook audiences, particularly with organic reach declining so significantly in recent times.
So, soon, if you're creating Instagram Stories, you may have the opportunity to tick a box and boost your exposure, in a key, attention-grabbing space right at the top of Facebook News Feeds.
Facebook Stories may not be popular now, but you can bet, if all these tests make it through, it'll become more relevant, very quickly.
If you're not creating Stories, I'd consider giving it some more thought.
Follow Andrew Hutchinson on Twitter