Facebook’s future and challenge.

Facebook considers stories as the format of the future. But users and brands are having a hard time adapting and monetization is slow. Now the social network is testing a new design to bring the stories to the forefront.

Facebook user orientate themselves, Facebook pans with

Mark Zuckerberg made no secret in the announcement of the quarterly figures on Tuesday that the platform is currently restructuring its business model. The transcript on Facebook says:

“There are a couple of reasons we focused on building stories in all our apps . First, I just think that this is the future. We want to make sure that we are fully embraced this. […] I want to go up and take it to where it wants to go – from a feed-only world to a feed-plus-stories world – it will take some time and our revenue growth may be slower during that period, like it what while transitioning our products to mobile.”

Shifting from a Facebook that lives on the news feed to one that makes stories the biggest part of the concept has its roots in changing user behavior. People no longer seem comfortable living their lives publicly on Facebook. Instead, sharing is increasingly happening in messengers and stories – in the supposedly private space. Among other things, this may be the result of recent data scandals and hacker activities, but it can also simply be explained by the further development of media consumption. “Share now more than 1 billion stories every day”, emphasizes Zuckerberg their importance. Facebook must not miss this trend.

Recent figures on the use of stories, © TechCrunch

Stories as a format, originally initiated by Snapchat, means transient content, the opposite of what the personal profile on Facebook lists.

Advertising in Stories should compensate for the dying newsfeed

Stories can now be found in all Facebook services, on Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger and the platform itself. Now it’s supposed to be the future of advertising. On Instagram, advertising in Stories is already available, Facebook is starting now and WhatsApp will follow next year. Zuckerberg admits that the implementation is more difficult than initially assumed:

“Our effort to shift Facebook from News Feed first to Stories first has not been as smooth as I hoped. […] We do not make any money.”

According to AdAge , advertisers pay an average of five dollars for 1,000 views in the newsfeed. In stories, there are only four. More serious, however, is the fact that users who consume temporary content in full-screen mode can no longer see ads in the newsfeed.

Facebook’s Q3 figures show $ 13.5 billion in advertising revenue, source: Facebook.

In addition, the advertisers are hesitant to get on the train. Although the format is excellently suited for storytelling – who would have thought that? – brands are having a hard time. Also the users seem contrary to Zuckerberg’s announcement not quite convinced. 300 million active users of stories initially sounds a lot, but are not particularly impressive considering the base of 2.3 billion MAUs: 13 percent. Here the messenger is not even included.

Facebook new layout for stories?

The format wants to be pushed into the platform with vigor. For this purpose, Facebook is currently testing a new layout . Matt Navarra shares a screenshot on Twitter  showing a carousel of six stories each. Spread over three pages, the user comes to 18 stories, which are prominently featured in the feed in the first place with a big picture.

A carousel for stories on Facebook? © Matt Navarra – Twitter

It remains to be seen to what extent Facebook’s strategy works. In any case, we can be prepared for the overloaded newsfeed to take a back seat and stories to pick up speed.

amardeep kaushal

Blogger, Marketer & Data Analyst.

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