Facebook Is Testing A New Feature Abroad

by Eliza Castile
A young woman is sitting on a sofa and using a mobile phone
Milan Markovic/E+/Getty Images

Five years after it was launched, although back then it was known as Picaboo, everyone is still obsessed with Snapchat — including its rivals on the social media scene. According to Tech Crunch, Facebook is testing Messenger Day on a small number of users in Poland, and the new feature will sound awfully familiar to anyone under the age of 30 (or anyone who uses Snapchat, I suppose, so... people under 30.)

Tech Crunch reports that Messenger Day allows users to temporarily upload photos and video. Like Snapchat, you can filter, doodle, and add stickers to your heart's content, and like Snapchat, the uploads disappear after 24 hours. The idea is largely the same as Snapchat's Stories feature, but the details vary. Android Authority points out, screenshots of Messenger Day show stickers that are far more specific and varied than Snapchat's, with phrases like "let's grab drinks" or "feeling loved."

While a Snapchat clone may go unnoticed (or worse yet, face backlash from users) in the United States, where the app has been said to surpass Twitter's number of daily users, it's less popular overseas. Messenger, on the other hand, announced in July that it reached one billion users worldwide, so Messenger Day may do well in areas where Snapchat is less commonplace.

But that's assuming Messenger Day makes it past the testing stage, which isn't guaranteed. When Tech Crunch reached out to Facebook on the matter, Facebook said in a statement that it is "running a small test of new ways for people to share... updates visually. We have nothing more to announce at this time."

Facebook has made little secret of its plan to make Messenger the go-to chatting app, and by all accounts, it appears to be working. In June, it released a major update to the interface as well as the ability to send SMS text messages. You can send money, request an Uber, and even check the weather (using a chat bot) through the app. That being said, this isn't the first time Facebook has taken its cues from Snapchat; earlier this year, Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, launched its own version of Stories. (Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom told Tech Crunch at the time that Snapchat "deserve[s] all the credit" for the idea.)

In fact, Facebook reportedly tried to buy Snapchat in 2013, although Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel proceeded to shock the tech community by turning down the offer, which was reportedly worth billions. Judging from the influence Snapchat has come to wield on communication since then, it's safe to say the decision worked out in Spiegel's favor — and yours, because all these tech rivalries are resulting in a ton of cool new features for their users.

Images: Milan Markovic/E+/Getty Images, Giphy