Facebook has expanded a test of a Snapchat Stories clone feature, called Messenger Day, to users of its app in Australia. The casual sharing feature lets people send illustrated, filter-enhanced photos and videos to friends which disappear in 24 hours — a la Snapchat.
A tipster, Ali Duff, reported finding the new feature to us after updating the iOS app today — sending a few screenshots, including this splash screen promoting Messenger Day:
Facebook confirmed Messenger Day has arrived for some users in Australia, couching it as “a small test”.
In an email to TechCrunch a Messenger spokesperson said: “We know that people come to Messenger to share everyday moments with friends and family. In Australia we are running a small test of new ways for people to share those updates visually.”
It’s the second market for Messenger Day thus far. Late last month the feature popped up for users in Poland, although it wasn’t clear how serious the Facebook experiment was at that point, and whether it intended to roll it out to other markets.
Now it looks like the social networking giant has stepped up the testing — taking Messenger Day to its first English-speaking market. Although there’s still no guarantee the feature will get a full launch.
That will doubtless depend in part on how well it’s received. (Duff’s concise assessment of the Messenger Day feature is: “Facebook is now basically Snapchat.”)
And on wider considerations for Facebook of whether it wants to try going head-to-head with Snapchat in markets where the latter is very popular. In North America, for example, some 60 million people use Snapchat daily at this point.
Facebook declined to comment on whether it will be bringing Messenger Day to any other markets, saying only: “We have nothing more to announce at this time.”
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