It all moves so fast, doesn\u2019t it?\r\n\r\nEvery day there\u2019s a new app, feature, or tool to learn about \u2013 like Facebook Stories.\r\n\r\nI mean, what is it? Do you need it? Is it the same as Instagram Stories and Snapchat? Heck, what\u2019s the whole \u201cStory\u201d thing about anyway?!\r\n\r\nI feel ya.\r\n\r\nStories creation and consumption is up 842 percent since they launched in early 2016, and Facebook expected sharing via Stories to surpass sharing through feeds in 2019.\r\n\r\nIn Facebook\u2019s Q1 2018 earnings report, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, \u201cStories is a big part of the future of video sharing, which is why we\u2019re all in on it across our family.\u201d \r\n\r\nSo like it or not, Stories are the future of social media.\r\n\r\nThis presents an incredible opportunity for those willing to learn the ropes before the majority realize the potential and jump on the bandwagon.\r\n\r\nIs that you?\r\n\r\nIn this article, you\u2019ll learn all about Facebook Stories \u2013 what it is, why you need it, how to get started, and how it works. \r\n\r\nLet\u2019s dive in.\r\nWhat is Facebook Stories?\r\nFacebook Stories is a feature which allows users to share photos, videos, and animations that disappear after 24 hours. It\u2019s very similar to Snapchat stories, which was introduced back in 2013.\r\n\r\nFacebook released a promotional video to showcase the benefits of Stories \u2013 \u201cLet your camera do the talking\u201d.\u00a0\r\n\r\nUnlike most social media posts, Facebook Stories doesn\u2019t have comments or likes. Instead, when viewers respond to Stories, the interaction happens through Facebook Messenger.\r\nWhere Can You View Facebook Stories?\r\nContent shared via Facebook Stories doesn\u2019t appear in the News Feed. Instead, Stories appear at the top of the Facebook app or Messenger app.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nAnd on Facebook desktop, Stories appear at the top of the right-hand sidebar.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nTo view someone\u2019s Facebook Story, just tap on their profile picture. If there\u2019s a Story that you haven\u2019t yet seen, the user\u2019s profile picture will have a blue ring around it.\r\n\r\nFacebook Stories appear in full-screen. You can skip backward or forwards by tapping the left or right side of the screen.\r\n\r\nSo why should your business use it?\r\nThe Power of Facebook for Businesses\r\nFacebook is King.\r\n\r\nWith more than 2.7 billion users, it\u2019s the largest social network in the world.\r\n\r\nBut are these users engaged?\r\n\r\nYep. More than 1 billion people log in to Facebook every day, and according to comScore, the average user accesses Facebook eight times a day.\r\n\r\nThese users are so valuable that Facebook Ads totally dominates social media advertising, with a massive 93% of social media advertisers using the service.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nBut what about Facebook Stories?\r\nThe Rise of the Stories Format\r\nWhen Snapchat launched Snapchat Stories in 2013, the world watched and waited to see if the concept would take off. Snapchat evangelist Gary Vaynerchuk even denounced the Stories format as a bad idea.\r\n\r\nBut Snapchat Stories were a huge hit.\r\n\r\nJust a few months after the launch, Mark Zuckerberg saw the potential and offered to buy the company for a cool $3 billion. However, the offer was turned down as Snapchat\u2019s growth exploded.\r\n\r\nStill, if you can\u2019t buy them, you can always copy them, right?\r\n\r\nFast forward three years. In August 2016, Facebook launched Instagram Stories, and then just six months later, Facebook WhatsApp Status.\r\n\r\nFinally, Facebook Stories was launched in March 2017 to complete its all-out assault on Snapchat.\r\n\r\nSo who\u2019s winning?\r\n\r\nAlthough only 10% of Facebook\u2019s 1.45 billion daily active users have adopted Facebook Stories, Statistica reports that \u201cFacebook\u2019s Snapchat clones are beating the original.\u201d\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nIt\u2019s true that Facebook Stories is currently the least used out of these apps, but with Facebook determined to push the Stories feature, that seems set to change.\r\n\r\n\u201cThe way people create content is changing to be from text to photos and videos,\u201d said Connor Hayes, product manager for Facebook Stories. \u201cThis is, in turn, changing the way they\u2019re sharing with one another and interacting online.\u201d\r\n\r\nHe added: \u201cThis is something that Snapchat has really pioneered.\u201d\r\n\r\nObviously.\r\nFacebook Stories is Replacing the News Feed\r\nLet\u2019s be real for a moment: Facebook\u2019s organic reach sucks.\r\n\r\nIt\u2019s been declining for years.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nTo make matters worse, this trend looks set to continue.\r\n\r\nIn January 2018, according to Facebook's Head of News Feed Adam Mosseri, Facebook began to \u201cshift ranking to make News Feed more about connecting with people and less about consuming media in isolation.\u201d\r\n\r\nSorry, what?\r\n\r\nZuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post: \u201cAs we roll this out, you'll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard \u2013 it should encourage meaningful interactions between people."\r\n\r\n*Eek*\r\n\r\nEssentially, this means that marketing content is to take a backseat to content by friends and family \u2013 an earlier Facebook value that it's trying to return to.\r\n\r\nSo what can marketers do? \r\n\r\nStart harnessing the power of Facebook Stories. This format provides a way for you to bypass the News Feed and reach your target audience organically. Remember, sharing to Stories was expected to surpass sharing through feeds sometime in 2019 (and it probably did).\r\n\r\nPlus, your Stories will be featured above user\u2019s News Feeds.\r\n\r\nBut that\u2019s not all.\r\nThe Power of Facebook Stories for Marketers\r\nToday, Facebook Stories has more than 150 million daily active users, and as users migrate from the News Feed to Facebook Stories, this number will continue to grow.\r\n\r\nPlus, because Facebook Stories disappear after 24 hours, they possess an urgency that most forms of social sharing don\u2019t.\r\n\r\nThere\u2019s nothing like a little FOMO to catch people\u2019s attention.\r\n\r\nAnd as Gary Vaynerchuk explains, \u201cIt's not how many followers you have, it's how many care. It's not width, it's depth. It's not how many impressions you get, it's how much attention you get.\u201d\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nFacebook Stories is also perfect for sharing authentic content in real-time.\r\n\r\nThis level of connection and authenticity can be incredibly powerful. In fact, 94% of consumers say they\u2019re likely to be loyal to a brand that offers complete transparency.\r\n\r\nPlus, it\u2019s free, in a time when many marketing tools aren\u2019t.\r\n\r\nWhat\u2019s more, there\u2019ll soon be the option to place paid advertisements in Facebook Stories \u2013 which will likely contribute to Facebook\u2019s dominance in social media advertising.\r\n\r\nBottom line: Facebook Stories is the future.\r\n\r\nIt gives you the opportunity to communicate more intimately with your audience throughout the day.\r\n\r\nSo how can you start using Facebook Stories to build your brand?\r\nHow to Use Facebook Stories as a Page\r\nFirst things first: If you\u2019re a business or brand, you need a Facebook Page \u2013 not a profile.\r\n\r\nTo share Facebook Stories, you must be an admin or editor of your brand\u2019s Page. Now, let\u2019s run through how to share Stories to your Page:\r\n\r\nStep 1: Open the Facebook App (iOS / Android) on your mobile device.\r\n\r\nStep 2: Tap the three horizontal lines in the bottom-right of the screen to bring up your Pages and Groups. Then tap your Page.\r\n\r\nStep 3: Once you\u2019re on your Page, tap the three dots in the top-right of the screen indicating a menu, and select \u201cOpen Camera.\u201d Alternatively, scroll down your Page, and tap \u201cCreate Story.\u201d\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nIn summary: You need to access the Facebook Story camera from your Page to share Stories to your Page\u2019s followers.\r\nHow to Share Your Instagram Stories to Your Facebook Page\r\nDo you already create and share Instagram Stories? If so, you don\u2019t have to also manually upload each post to Facebook Stories.\r\n\r\nInstead, you can link your accounts so that your Instagram Stories are automatically posted to your Facebook Page.\r\n\r\nCool, right?\r\n\r\nTo share Instagram Stories on a Facebook Page, you need to have an Instagram Business profile.\r\n\r\nNow, if you need to convert your normal Instagram account into a business profile, just scroll down the Instagram settings and tap \u201cSwitch to Business Profile.\u201d\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThen, follow the instructions and Instagram will prompt you to connect your account to your Facebook Page.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nIf you\u2019ve already got an Instagram Business profile, tap the three lines at the top-right of your profile indicating a menu, and then tap \u201cSettings.\u201d\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nNext, scroll down and click \u201cStory controls.\u201d\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThen, scroll to the bottom and enable sharing to your Facebook Story.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nNext up:\r\nHow to Create Content in Facebook Stories\r\nNow that you\u2019re ready to share Facebook Stories on your brand\u2019s Page, let\u2019s run through a quick overview of the Facebook Stories content creation features.\r\nThe Facebook Story Camera\r\nThe first time you use the Facebook Story camera, you\u2019ll need to enable access to your camera and microphone.\r\n\r\n\r\nUse Both Cameras\r\nAs usual, you can use your front-facing camera or your rear-facing camera.\r\n\r\nBut here\u2019s the cool part: Unlike most other video recording apps, you can change cameras while you\u2019re recording. Just like you would on a Facebook Live stream or video call.\r\n\r\nThis is awesome.\r\n\r\nNow, when recording a Facebook Story video, you\u2019ll want to capture both what\u2019s happening and your reaction and comments.\r\n\r\nSo don\u2019t forget to switch it up!\r\n\r\n\r\nChoose Your Lighting Setting\r\nThe Facebook Story camera provides three lighting settings:\r\n\r\n \tLighting bolt: The flash is on.\r\n \tMoon and \u2018x\u2019: The flash is off. (It looks like a moon to me anyway!)\r\n \tMoon and cloud: This will brighten up darker settings.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nJust tap to cycle through the options:\r\n\r\n\r\nAutomatically Save Your Content\r\nThe Facebook Story creator allows you to automatically download the content you create to your device.\r\n\r\nThis will enable you to upload it to other social media sites, or simply re-use your photos and videos in future content.\r\n\r\nTo do this, tap the cog to open your Facebook Story settings.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThen, simply opt to \u201cSave shared photos.\u201d\r\n\r\n\r\nThe 4 Facebook Story Content Formats\r\nThere are four different content formats that you can capture:\r\n\r\n \tNormal\r\n \tVideo\r\n \tBoomerang\r\n \tLive\r\n\r\nLet\u2019s take a quick look at each of them.\r\nThe Normal Setting\r\nThis is the setting first shown when you open the Facebook Story camera.\r\n\r\nYou can use Normal to take a photo by tapping the large white circle. You can also record a video on this setting, but you need to hold your thumb down to keep recording.\r\n\r\n\r\nThe Video Setting\r\nThis setting allows you to take videos without holding your thumb on the white circle. Facebook Story videos can last up to 20 seconds in length.\r\nThe Boomerang Setting\r\nBoomerang creates an animation from a burst of photos like a GIF.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nJust tap the main icon once and the screen will flash as the photos are taken in quick succession. While this happens, make a small movement, such as taking a step forward or winking to the camera.\r\n\r\nHere are some fun Boomerang ideas!\r\n\r\nhttps://youtu.be/JRVPS8r458w\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nIf this feature becomes a favorite of yours, you can download the dedicated Boomerang App (iOS/Android) to create animations to share on other platforms.\r\n\r\n\r\nThe Live Setting\r\nTo go Live on Facebook, just tap \u201cStart Live Video,\u201d and Facebook will notify your followers that you\u2019re live.\r\n\r\nTo learn more about Facebook Live check out our full guide, \u201cThe Ultimate Guide to Facebook Live Video.\u201d\r\nAdd Media from Your Device\r\nIf you\u2019ve already captured content, you can post it to Facebook Stories by tapping the media icon in the bottom-right of the screen.\r\n\r\nThis is particularly useful if you ever want to share content with a higher production value than the Facebook Stories creator allows.\r\n\r\n\r\n6 Ways to Customize Your Facebook Stories\r\nIt\u2019s time to get creative.\r\nAdd Effects and Animations\r\nFacebook Stories provides countless animations and effects to help you create eye-catching and engaging content.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nTo access the animations and effects, tap the magic wand icon in the bottom-left of the screen.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nNow, at the very bottom of the screen, there are five icons that represent each category of effects and animations. And just above them are the effects and animations in each category.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nSimply scroll through them to find one you like!\r\n\r\nA lot of these effects and animations react to your movements while you capture your content. But you can also add effects after you\u2019ve captured content, just use the same method.\r\n\r\n\r\nGet Creative with 3D Drawing\r\nTo access this innovative feature, simply tap on the icon that looks like a spring at the top of the screen.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThis feature allows you to draw something on your screen that will stay in the same place even when you move the camera.\r\n\r\nTo see 3D drawing in action, watch this video from Techcrunch:\r\n\r\nhttps://youtu.be/VYqe3smoois\r\n\r\nNow let\u2019s take a look at some of the ways you can customize your Facebook Story after you\u2019ve captured your content.\r\nAdd Stickers and Emojis\r\nTo do this, tap the smiley sticker icon at the top of the screen.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThere are tons of stickers and emojis to choose from.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nOne of the most useful is the new poll sticker.\r\n\r\nThis allows you to directly engage your followers by posing a question and having viewers voice their opinions.\r\n\r\n\r\nAdd Text to Your Story\r\nCompared to 3D drawings and poll stickers, adding text to your stories might be old school, but it\u2019s still an essential tool.\r\n\r\nTo add text, simply tap the \u201cAa\u201d icon.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nPlus, Facebook lets you customize the position, orientation, font, color, and size of your text.\r\n\r\n\r\nUse the Drawing Tool\r\nOnce again, it might not be 3D, but if you want to add a static drawing to your Story after you\u2019ve captured your content, tap the squiggle icon in the top-right of the screen.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nYou can customize the size, color, orientation, and position of your drawing.\r\n\r\nSaving, Publishing, and Reviewing Your Content\r\nIf you haven\u2019t set Facebook to automatically download your content, tap \u201cSave\u201d to save your Story content to your device.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nNext, share your content quickly by tapping \u201cYour Story.\u201d \r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nOr if you\u2019d prefer, tap \u201cNext\u201d to share your Story to your Page\u2019s News Feed.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nLastly, you can easily view your Facebook Story history on the mobile app. Simply tap on \u201cYour Archive\u201d above the Stories at the top of your News Feed.\r\n\r\n\r\nHow to Gather Insights from Your Facebook Stories\r\nFacebook provides a few different ways to learn about the performance of your Stories.\r\n\r\nTo see who\u2019s viewed your posts, navigate to your Facebook Story and tap the eye icon in the bottom-left of the screen.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThis will bring up a list of the people who have viewed your Story. \r\n\r\nYou can also keep track of how your Facebook Stories perform using Stories Insights on your computer.\r\n\r\nTo find Stories Insights, navigate to your Page, click the \u201cInsights\u201d tab, and then click on \u201cStories.\u201d Then, to start gathering Facebook Stories data, click \u201cTurn on.\u201d\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nStories Insights has four columns:\r\n\r\n \tPublished: The date and time that your Page\u2019s Story was published.\r\n \tStory items: A thumbnail of your Page\u2019s Story.\r\n \tStatus: Whether your Page\u2019s Story is still active or not.\r\n\r\n\r\n \tUnique times story was opened: How many different people have seen your Page\u2019s story.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nAlthough Stories disappear after 24 hours, Stories Insights remain visible for 14 days.\r\nFacebook Stories: FAQs\r\n\r\nWhat is Facebook Stories?\r\n\r\nFacebook Stories is a feature which allows users to share photos, videos, and animations. The shared content will last 24 hours before disappearing.\r\n\r\nWhen was Facebook Stories launched?\r\n\r\nFacebook Stories was launched on March 28, 2017. \r\n\r\nHow long do Facebook Stories last?\r\n\r\nFacebook Stories last 24 hours before disappearing. After 24 hours, you have the option to keep the content you've shared in your story archive, which will only be visible to you.\u00a0\r\n\r\nWhat are the Facebook Stories Camera effects?\r\n\r\nFacebook Stories Camera effects include filters, masks, and frames that you can add to your content to make it more fun. This also includes the reactive effects which allow you to interact with the filters in real time.\r\n\r\nCan I select who to share my Facebook Stories with? \r\n\r\nYes. You can select the audience that you would like to share your Facebook Stories with. \r\n\r\nHow can I select who to share my Facebook Stories with?\r\n\r\nYou can select who is able to view your Facebook Story before you share it. Once you\u2019ve created the content you want to share, click on "Share to" on the bottom right corner. There is a downwards facing arrow next to \u201cYour Story\u201d which allows you to select your audience. You can then select from options such as sharing your Facebook Story with the public, with your friends, or customizing your audience by manually choosing who will be able to see the Story, or who won\u2019t be able to see it. If someone is on your \u201cRestricted List\u201d they won\u2019t be able to see your Facebook Story. \r\n\r\nWhat is Facebook Stories direct sharing?\r\n\r\nFacebook Stories direct sharing allows you to choose specific people that you would like to share your Facebook Stories with. The friends that you choose to share your Facebook Stories with, will be able to view the shared content once, replay it, and reply to it. \r\n\r\nCan you reply to Facebook Stories?\r\n\r\nYes, you can reply to Facebook Stories. Click on \u201cWrite a direct reply\u201d, which allows you to send a private message to the person who has shared the Facebook Story. \r\nFacebook Stories: A Summary\r\nThe Stories format is the future of social media. \r\n\r\nSnapchat\u2019s innovation has enabled people to connect more effectively in real-time. \r\n\r\nAnd with Facebook pushing Stories across all of their main platforms, you can expect this social format to continue growing at a fast pace.\r\n\r\nSo get started now.\r\n\r\nLeverage Facebook Stories to connect with your customers and build your brand.\r\n\r\nIs your business using Facebook Stories yet? Let us know in the comments below!\r\nWant to Learn More?\r\n\r\n \tThe Ultimate Guide to Facebook Live Video\r\n \tYour Guide to Facebook Analytics\r\n \t15 Ways to Increase Facebook Followers and Likes\r\n \tWhen is the best time to post on Facebook?