Facebook’s latest tactic to push users from News Feed into Stories? Get them to hype events. The social network is testing a new feature that lets users share Facebook events directly in their Stories. The feature is being tested in the United States, Mexico, and Brazil, but could eventually roll out more broadly.
This way, event organizers can hype their event to their friends and coordinate with other friends interested in attending. This could be particularly useful for large public events, where it’s not always easy to tell whether or not people you know are on the guest list.
The plan is to get people to share events they’re interested in directly from their Facebook Story. Their friends can then click into the event page and let their friends know if they’re also interested in attending.
It’s also Facebook’s latest push to subtly push users toward sharing to Stories rather than just News Feed.
The Stories format may not seem as popular on Facebook as it is on Instagram or WhatsApp, but that’s exactly what the company’s hoping to change. Over the last year, Facebook executives have made it clear that Stories are the future, with sharing via Stories set to outpace sharing to feeds.
But Facebook has been struggling to draw people to Stories in its main app at the same rate as in other services. Facebook, which has more than 2 billion users, counted just 300 million monthly users for Stories as of last September. Instagram, with only 1 billion total users, has 400 million Stories users. Mark Zuckerberg himself said getting people to engage with Stories has at times been challenging.
“Our effort to switch Facebook from News Feed first to Stories first hasn’t been as smooth as I hoped,” Zuckerberg said during the company’s last earnings call.
Adding events to Stories may seem like a small step toward that goal, but it does mimic the way many people currently use News Feed to share. By pushing users to share events — itself an extremely popular Facebook feature — to their Story, the company may be able to get more people interested in Stories. And, if successful, we could see more tie-ins between Stories and other core Facebook features.