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‘Stories’ are taking over social media, but monetization is elusive

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By Alyssa Newcomb

The evolution of how people share their lives on social media changed with relatively little fanfare on Oct. 3, 2013.

On that day, Snapchat introduced a new way for people to share their day with friends — “Stories,” in which users could stitch together a compilation of different snapshots from the past 24 hours that would then disappear. While the format received some coverage in the tech press, it was at the time just another feature on an app primarily used as a way for young people to send messages to each other.

More than five years later, the stories format has become one of the most-copied innovations in technology, showing up on almost every social media platform.

Facebook has embraced the format on all of its platforms, most notably WhatsApp and Instagram, which has enjoyed meteoric growth for its stories feature since it launched in Aug. 2016. The photo app has said that 400 million people use the stories feature every day, prompting the company to shift its focus away from its mainstay photo stream.

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