Facebook today launched Facebook Stories at facebookstories.com, a Web site that, according to the company, is dedicated to sharing "some of the most extraordinary, quirky, and thought-provoking stories and ideas from people around the world who make up the social graph." In other words, it's Facebook's way of boosting its own ego, and hopefully in the process, boosting the public's opinion of the social network.
No really, that's the purpose. "It's meant to celebrate the people who connect and share in innovative ways to accomplish things that would be otherwise impossible," a Facebook representative said in a statement. "By spotlighting these stories, we hope to inspire people to find new uses for these technologies within their own lives." Let me clarify that for you: "these technologies" means Facebook.
Wait a minute. This sounds a bit familiar. Ah, right. Twitter launched Twitter Stories in November 2011. So did Facebook copy Twitter? Not exactly: Facebook launched a Facebook Stories app back in July 2010. The app was scrapped sometime last year, but way before Twitter Stories arrived on the scene.
OK, with the history lesson out of the way, let's get back to Facebook Stories. The Web site of course has its own dedicated Facebook page which, at the time of this writing, already has more than 1,000 Likes. If you want to keep track of all the feel-good stuff, you'll want to Like that page.
A Facebook representative tells me the site will explore stories around a different theme every month. The first one is "Remembering." You'll notice the Facebook page's cover photo shows a young boy by the name of Mayank Sharma, who was lucky enough to land the first issue of Facebook Stories, and for good reason:
If you can't watch the video right now, make sure to watch it when you can. The description below just doesn't cut it:
In 2010, Mayank Sharma of New Delhi, India, contracted tubercular meningitis, a serious inflammation of the central nervous system. After a week in the hospital, he emerged without any memory of ever getting sick -- or of the first 27 years of his life. He began messaging the people who came up in Facebook's People You May Know feature to start piecing his life back together.
So Facebook has video and text for its marketing campaign, now all it needs is images. Facebook is planning to release a new infographic for every new month of Facebook Stories. Below is the one Facebook created specifically for the "Remembering" theme; it examines major life events from around the world and charts the correlation between location and which milestones people are more likely to share: