Continuing their apparent corporate strategy of undermining Snapchat, Facebook is launching their new Messenger Day feature this week in an update to the Messenger app. Introduced as a limited beta in Poland and some other markets late last year, Messenger Day is, essentially, Snapchat Stories — a compilation of photos and short videos that you take and edit, and that will disappear after 24 hours. It’s the latest clone that could put Snap in hot water post-IPO.
Once you’ve downloaded the update, you’ll notice that the Messenger camera Facebook added not too long ago has a new use. Tapping that center ring on the bottom bar or swiping down will activate the camera, which you can use to take either a picture or a selfie using a selection of backgrounds or filters. Swiping left will let you add text to or doodle on your photos or videos. At that point, it’s just like Snapchat (or Instagram) Stories — you can add them to your Messenger Day, which will stick around for 24 hours. Pictures will stay on screen for five seconds, while videos can be up to 15 seconds long.
Days will show up in a new bar, letting you see which of your friends have added or updated their Days. If you don’t want to share something with everyone, you can make exclusions or pick specific friends to share your Day with. You’ll have the option to yank anything from your Day at any time, too, by using the settings menu on your Day.
Messenger Day is the latest Snapchat clone from Facebook. Previously, Instagram and WhatsApp, both owned by Facebook, released similar features that have cut into Snapchat’s user growth, which is fast becoming Snap’s major concern as a publicly traded company — not least because it’s the thing that has plagued Twitter, an IPO cautionary tale in progress, for years.