Facebook's ever-increasing influence over the Instagram app could soon extend to the popular stories format. The social media giant is reportedly testing a new feature that allows users to cross-post stories to Instagram.
A screenshot of how the cross-posting feature could work on Facebook's Android app has been shared by app researcher Jane Manchun Wong. Sharing stories from the Facebook app could be convenient for users, as they would just have to enable a toggle to automatically cross-post all stories from Facebook to Instagram. The company has reportedly begun testing the cross-posting feature "formally", which means it might already be accessible to some Facebook app users.As per a screenshot of the cross-posting interface tweeted by Wong, those who are part of the experiment have a dedicated "Share Story to Instagram" toggle that can be activated to cross-post stories from Facebook to Instagram. Facebook's EMEA Communications Manager, Alexandru Voica, reportedly told Wong that the cross-posting feature aims to simplify and improve how stories work across apps.
Moreover, TechCrunch has cited a Facebook spokesperson who noted that the stories cross-posting feature is now being formally tested, and that it was introduced to “make it easier to share moments with the people who matter to you, as people might have different audiences and followers on Facebook versus Instagram”. However, there is no word whether the testing is currently limited to a few regions, as is usually the case.
The cross-posting feature would very likely be useful to many users of both platforms, and could make it easier for people to reach all their friends and followers without having to use the Facebook and Instagram apps separately. However, it is not yet clear whether cross-posted stories that users have seen on Instagram will pop up as unseen in the Facebook app as well. If so, this could be counterproductive as followers might not want to see the same content twice in two different apps.