Stories have been a huge success on Instagram and have driven the platform’s surge in recent years. On Facebook, the feature has been more of a slow burner since arriving in 2017. Still, Stories on the social network are used by over 300 million daily users.
Facebook sees the growing popularity of Stories and wants to make the feature more visible. With that in mind, it seems the company is testing an integration where Stories are combined with the News Feed.
Of course, the News Feed is the central hub of Facebook, so clearly Stories till become a major part of the network’s whole experience. They will also change the way users interact with the News Feed. Users will no longer be scrolling down through items but will instead be swiping form story to story.
The testing of this integration was spotted by Jane Manchun Wong, a reverse-engineering expert who recently found new Google Maps features for Spotify. Facebook later confirmed it is testing this switch, but says it is only at experimental stage so far.
Facebook is testing to turn News Feed into Story Feed pic.twitter.com/83H7VWcgmD
— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) April 15, 2019
If implemented, users will see a hybrid News Feed where they can share and view status updates in a revolving side-to-side UI. At the moment, the News Feed is presented as a continuous column where users must scroll down.
Stories integration in the News Feed will maintain the features users are already accustomed too. For example, photos, videos, sponsored content, links, updates, and posts will all be visible. Of course, you can throw in comments and post interaction tools into that mix as well.
As mentioned, Facebook is only beginning to test this feature, so it is not available yet. However, the company has confirmed the work so hopefully a preview will be available at some point.