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Facebook’s Stories is a total failure, so they’re ‘ghosting’ your friends to increase usage

Photo: Alex Kantrowitz/Twitter

I’ve never been a fan of having too many Facebook friends. Currently I have just 233 contacts, which is pale compared to those who have thousands.

Since Facebook launched its Snapchat clone called ‘Stories’, I’ve seen maybe two people max using the feature. While I can’t cast judgment based on my friends list alone, it seems their Snapchat-killer isn’t exactly working out as they had hoped it would.

As you can see from my list, the situation is pretty sad.

Facebook is testing a new option where certain friends are ghosted to create the illusion that they posted stories. However when you click on their name, the app indicates that they have not added any stories recently. Those ghosted users show up as semi-transparent icons versus those who actually post stories.

Facebook hopes that the idea of seeing a filled ‘Stories’ section may encourage users to try out the new feature.

It’s unclear how Facebook selects who shows up in the list, but those friends are completely unaware that their profiles are being randomly selected for display in the carousel.

This change has been pushed out to a small number of iPhone users already. Here’s what it looks like.

As with many beta Facebook features, there is no guarantee that this change may go out to the masses, but my best bet is that it might given the poor reactions to Stories.

I must admit I see way more activity via WhatsApp Stories than on Facebook or Facebook Messenger, maybe because it’s confined to personal friends rather than the masses, which is where Snapchat also excels.

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