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Where to post your daily stories in 2017

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Feed frenzy

snapchat our story

The arrival this week of Facebook Stories presents active social media users with a dilemma: where to post?

It’s a problem of Facebook’s creation. For more than three years, the concept of “stories” — a rolling series of photos and videos that disappear 24 hours after you post them — was unique to Snapchat. In some ways, stories defined the company. But last year, Instagram copied the format — and since then, Facebook has introduced stories to Messenger, WhatsApp, and its flagship app, which is used by more than 1.15 billion people a day.

At this point, there’s no easy way to cross-post stories to multiple apps — though a Facebook product manager I spoke to said they wouldn’t rule out building one eventually. In the meantime, where do those fleeting photos and videos of your epic nights belong?

The easy answer is post wherever you have the most relevant group of friends. If you’re in college and all your friends breathe Snapchat like it’s oxygen, there’s little reason to move. If you’ve graduated and your squad lives on Instagram, turn your life into a series of Boomerangs.

But let’s say you’re more open-minded than that — or simply new to the stories format altogether. Here’s a concise guide of your options.

snapchat edc story image

Snapchat Stories

Origin: October 2013

Vibe: life as a college party that never ends

What using suggests about you: you’re young; you’re ahead of the curve; you can master strange user interfaces

Cool factor: Bitmoji, which transform you and your friends into cartoon avatars, enliven any discussion

Use if: you love a good dog face filter; you don’t want Facebook to own all consumer communications on the internet

instagram stories

Instagram Stories

Origin: August 2016

Vibe: everyday moments transformed into lifestyle advertising

What using it suggests about you: you’re too old for Snapchat but too young for Facebook; you like Snapchat but can be more creative on Instagram

Cool factor: nifty text effects and drawing tools; Boomerangs turn out to be the perfect video format for stories

Use if: you want to reach a big audience with the richest creative tools available

WhatsApp Status

Origin: February 2017

Vibe: messages smuggled out of an Eastern European prison

What using it says about you: you have a lot of family overseas

Cool factor: Facebook spent $19 billion for this

Use if: your family just upgraded from feature phones

Facebook Messenger Day

Origin: March 2017

Vibe: anxious growth hacking

What using it says about you: you have a friend on the Messenger team and are doing them a solid

Cool factor: activity-based stickers designed to spark conversations about what you’re doing

Use if: you want to invite a friend to lunch without inviting a friend to lunch?

Facebook Stories

Origin: March 2017

Vibe: confident copycatting

What using it says about you: you’re basic, but not in a bad way

Cool factor: Instagram has better creative tools overall, but Facebook is spending a ton of money on custom animated filters you won’t find anywhere else

Use if: you’re spending an hour in the News Feed every day anyway and want to mix it up a little

Medium Series

Origin: March 2017

Vibe: Snapchat Stories meets Tumblr on the phone

What using it says about you: you want to add to a single, persistent story over time, such as “dogs I have loved” or “cops taking selfies”

Cool factor: currently does not require subscription to use

Use if: you miss the old Tumblr

Google Allo

Google Allo stories

Origin: currently theoretical

Presumed vibe: selfies augmented by machine learning

What using it suggests about you: you work at Google

Cool factor: currently exists only in the author’s mind

Use if: you are working on the alpha