Ready to scrounge for Likes on your Stories too? Facebook Stories can feel like a ghost town even though it has 150 million daily users. So Facebook is trying to get more people who view your ephemeral content on its Snapchat clone to speak up so you keep posting. Today Facebook is bringing its Like, Haha, Wow, Sad, Angry, and Love ‘Reactions’ from News Feed to Stories, replacing the generic emoji quick replies it previously offered. It’s also adding two “interactive stickers” — a flame and a laughing smile — you can add to your own Stories that when tapped by a friend, shimmer and notify you.
To the same effect, Facebook is letting people start a group reply to your Story with multiple friends that launches a group thread on Messenger. And when you tap to see who’s viewed you Facebook Story, the viewer list will highlight people who sent reactions or Messenger replies.
Combined, these four new ways to give feedback on Stories should make it feel less like you’re posting into a black hole. Facebook has found great success with its Like button and other Reactions for News Feed posts and Instagram’s Heart button. They both trigger a dopamine hit of self-satisfaction that encourages you to continue sharing that’s more visceral than just knowing someone watched your Story.
Oh and just in case Stories wasn’t turning into a vanity contest already, according to Mari Smith via Matt Navarra, Facebook is now testing a Selfie mode in the Stories camera with a Soft Focus option similar to the recent Instagram Focus launch.
When Snapchat invented the Stories format, it purposefully left out a Like button because it would make sharing into a competition where users craved the binary feedback and posted whatever was most popular.
In fact, when I interviewed Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom in 2016 around the launch of Instagram Stories he told me, “We definitely asked ourselves what if we removed Likes from Instagram? What would happen? . . . If you have Likes . . . you get certain behaviors, and the behavior we wanted was for you to be able to share as much as you wanted. And the lack of Likes in this space lets you let down your guard.”
Now Facebook is changing that fundamental principle of Stories, which could give us a whole new quantified measure of our worth to turn into an addiction and coerce us to share not what’s authentic but what’s Likeable.