Facebook adding Stories and Direct features to its main app

Posted March 30, 2017

Instagram, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp have all cloned Snapchat's popular Stories feature and now it's the social network's turn. One of the most interesting features of Facebook Stories is the new Direct messaging system.

Facebook also announced that this week users will have access to a new in-app camera that will feature filters, masks and other interactive features.

Masks now available include those from the movies Alien: Covenant, Despicable Me 3, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Power Rangers, Smurfs: The Lost Village and Wonder Woman. If you decide you to share a photo or video via "Direct", your friends will be able to view, replay and even write a reply after which it will disappear from "Direct". In order to add a story, you need to tap on the "Your Story" icon in the Stories bar at the top of News Feed. You can post photos and videos to your Story for all friends to see, or share content with specific friends via the Direct option.

Facebook was rolling out an app update starting Tuesday.

You can download Facebook from the App Store for free.

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Unlike other events you might post to your news feed, these stories disappear after a day.

Facebook's design director Kristen Spilman says another visual effect on this new feature allows someone in a picture to "become a laser cat with super powers".

FILE - In this May 16, 2012 file photo, the Facebook logo is displayed on an iPad in Philadelphia. If you tap on the story, all of the included images will play out like a slideshow.

Adding a photo or video to your story requires you to click the "Your story" button to make it visible to your friends for 24 hours.

If you want to dump Snapchat and start playing with Facebook Stories and Camera instead, check your app. The feature will be available to both Android and iOS users who have received the latest update to the Facebook app. Stories is like a montage of photos and videos, which you can share with friends, a concept first introduced by Snapchat.