Facebook tests combining its News Feed and Stories into a single platform

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Facebook is testing a radical redesign interface for its app, which will see the News Feed and Stories features combined into a single feed that users can tap through like Instagram and Snapchat stories. The new interface was discovered by app researcher Jane Manchun Wong who found the feature in the Android version of the app.

As of now, Facebook Stories and News Feed appear alongside each other as distinguished interfaces in the core Facebook app. Users can scroll down to see the News Feed or tap on the card featured on top of the app to start scrolling through their stories. With the new feature, Stories and News Feed, including text posts, pictures, videos, and sponsored posts, appear as a part of the same interface.

Facebook Stories, when introduced back in 2017, could not amass as much popularity as expected, however, Facebook had predicted that Stories will take over the News Feed in terms of popularity by 2019. Last September, the company said that Facebook and Messenger Stories had 300 million daily active users between them.

The future of the News Feed has been speculated since Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that the company would be moving away from permanent public posts towards private encrypted messaging.

Responding to the discovery, a Facebook spokesperson said: “We are not currently testing this publicly.” It is currently not clear if the feature discovered today will make its way to the public release. Facebook briefly experimented with a horizontal interface for the feed on Instagram, that ended up disappointing many users. Facebook initially claimed that the new interface was meant for “testing”, but the company later called it a bug in a statement.

Moreover, it was recently reported that Facebook might put the Messenger’s chats back into its main social media app.  Once developed, the feature would allow users to use a single app to access both the social media platform and elements of the messaging service. With the new feature, users can tap on the existing Messenger button in the Facebook app to get redirected to a new “Chats” section instead of opening the separate Messenger app.

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