If you can’t beat them, join them.
That seems to be Facebook’s approach to winning over the youth of the world, who just can’t get enough of its fast-growing competitor, Snapchat.
Facebook is currently testing a navigation bar that looks remarkably similar to Snapchat Discover’s original navigation. It’s at the top of another new feature: A feed of Facebook Live videos straight from publishers.
On Thursday, Mashable viewed the fresh feature. The brand spanking new Live feed was accessed by clicking a play button icon at the bottom of the app — just to the right of the news feed icon — to open up the new feed.
It’s unclear how many people currently have access to this feature. Facebook has been contacted for further details.
Look familiar? This is Snapchat.
Within the feed, there is a notifications panel that shows you the videos currently live from the publications you follow, but if you scroll down, Facebook also serves up suggested Live viewing. It isn’t clear how these are selected and most look like bad quality Live ads from product pages.
If you click on the publication you follow from within the navigation bar, it will bring up a window that allows you to unfollow and turn notifications on or off.
One assumes turning notifications on would notify you when a live stream from that publisher begins à la Periscope. If you scroll down from here, you will see a feed of that specific publisher’s previous Live videos.
This newest iteration even functions like Snapchat, in that awkward and confusing-for-anyone-older-than-a-teenager way.
It lets you exit a publisher’s video by hitting or dragging down a button in the top left corner and you can scroll across the publications — displayed in circles like the original Snapchat navigation — to find and select the publisher you want to check out.
A similar Live video tab was first seen on Android devices back in May. Its main difference, though, is that back then it looked nothing like Snapchat. It was simply a new feed with the play button logo that aggregated Facebook Live videos.
A selection of Live videos served up.
In recent times, Facebook has been replicating numerous features from the new, cool kid on the scene.
Facebook began testing out an experimental camera feature in Ireland that allowed you to take a photo and add filters before sharing the photos with your friends. The feature is currently unnamed, but we’d suggest “Snapbook.”
A week before that story, Mosufi dropped the news that Facebook was testing its Messenger Day feature in Australia, which allows you to add stickers and doodles to photos and videos that expire within 24 hours. Stories, anyone?
Then, on Friday, Business Insider reported Facebook was launching a new publisher program called “Collections,” which would see Facebook working with media partners to create curated content for the platform. You may have heard of a similar feature by Snapchat, called Discover, that has turned the relationship between content producers and the platform on its head. News has never looked so sexy.
And just this week, Facebook obviously thought “screw it, let’s just become Snapchat” and threw in its new geofilter service to really take its youth conversion to the next level. The feature, which is also being tested in Ireland, will apparently be called “location frames” and work with the camera feature.
Whether the upcoming changes can help the platform appeal to the younger demographic Snapchat has cornered so successfully, is yet to be seen. If all keeps going to plan, though, by the new year we may be wearing Facebook glasses on our faces.