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The Secret Behind Facebook Stories' Growth Strategy & Snapchat's Demise
In roughly one year (2016 to 2017), Stories content grew 15x faster than news feed content. Stories (currently available on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, WhatsApp, and Messenger) is a new type of social media and short-form photo and video content easily digestible and captured from one’s mobile phone.
Snapchat pioneered Stories in 2013 and it helped Snapchat grow incredibly fast during this period until 2016 when Facebook-owned Instagram rolled out its own version. Facebook launched Stories first on Instagram in 2016 - next came Stories for Messenger followed by Facebook’s own version of Stories and finally WhatsApp (dubbed “Status”) in 2017 (all of which are Facebook-owned social media properties)
To continue fueling its user growth (now upwards of two billion monthly active users) and attracting mobile-first younger demographics, Facebook in recent years has staked its growth strategy on a “video-first future” tied strongly to in-app camera use and activity à la Stories. See how Facebook leveraged Stories and a global user base to shut out competition (i.e. Snapchat), adapt to a changing social and digital landscape, and grow to new heights.