Facebook took the wraps off Facebook Stories a couple of weeks ago, a section designed “to celebrate the different stories that are coming out of Facebook,” according to a spokesperson’s description.
The first issue of Facebook Stories, which resides at facebookstories.com, centers on “remembering.” A video at the top of the page tells the moving story of Mayank Sharma, who used Facebook’s “People You May Know” tool to contact old acquaintances and reconstruct his life history after being diagnosed with meningitis at age 27. A separate page serves up stories on memory from The New Yorker‘s archives, courtesy of the magazine’s librarians. Ari Shapiro, NPR’s White House correspondent, shares “one memory he’ll never forget,” and author and journalist Joshua Foer shares a list of books on memory that informed his own on the subject.
The remaining pieces, written by a mix of freelancers and Facebook employees whose job titles contain the word “editor,” tell of other interesting uses of the social network to save decaying landmarks and inspire art.
The point of it all? A Facebook spokesperson tells me that an “overwhelming outpouring of people” e-mail the company’s press account to share how they’ve used the site “to leverage connections, deliver social value to their communities and work through adversity in their own lives. We wanted to build a place where they can live and be showcased and celebrated, and also to give them some context.”
The social network launched a similar, less formal project as a Facebook application under the same name in 2010, which asked users to submit their stories to be shared with other users of the app. The application was deleted sometime in early 2011. The new Facebook stories is “a separate effort from a different team,” a spokesperson tells me.
The new Facebook Stories is almost identical in nature to Twitter Stories and Tumblr’s Storyboard, both of which detail how individuals are using those platforms through short articles, photographs and videos. Of the two, Tumblr’s is the more robust, with one or more new stories per day, whereas Twitter has published just two three-paragraph stories since mid-April.
New issues will be released each month, accompanied by an infographic related to each theme. Each story will focus on people, not brands, but “this is just the first iteration, we could see different evolutions,” Facebook says.