Facebook launched Facebook Stories on mobile last year and now they have come to the desktop version of the social networking site. 

Facebook Stories are Instagram and Snapchat-style quick updates that disappear after 24 hours; they don't stick around like normal Facebook statuses. 

When Facebook Stories appeared on mobile an effects-filled camera was added to the app that sits a swipe over from the news feed. There's also a new bar for disappearing stories which sits at the top oof your news feed. 

When you add a photo or video to your story, it appears in the new Stories section at the top of news feed. Your profile picture will also appear in this row at the top of your friends' news feeds, and they can tap it to see your story for 24 hours.

Now Stories are on desktop web browsers, too, via a panel that sits on the top right and the ability to share to Stories when updating your status. (You can just update your story rather than your status should you wish).

If you want to know more about how Facebook Stories work, here's what you need to know.

How to post to Facebook Stories 

To post to Facebook Stories, follow these steps:

  • Tap on the Add to story icon in the Stories bar at the top of news feed.
  • On desktop enter a status update in the familiar way, but you'll be offered to add it to your story as an alternative to creating a status. 
  • Alternatively, you can tap the camera icon in the top left of your screen or swipe right from news feed.
  • Tap the record button to take a photo or tap and hold it to record a video. You can also upload from your camera roll.
  • If you want to save a photo or video, tap the download icon.
  • Tap Your Story to add to your story, and then tap the send button.
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How do you add camera effects?

Facebook also updated its camera just for Facebook Stories. Tap on the camera icon on the top left corner (or swipe right from news feed) to try it out. It offers masks, frames, and interactive filters that can be applied to photos and videos. There's even "reactive effects" that let you interact with dynamic objects (like falling snow) and style effects so you can apply a Picasso-style filter to your video in real time.

If you want to add effects to your photos or videos before posting to Facebook Stories, follow these steps:

  • Tap on the “Your Story” icon in the Stories bar at the top of news feed.
  • Tap the record button to take a photo, or tap and hold it to record a video. You can also upload from your camera roll.
  • Swipe up or tap the effects icon to add frames, masks, or camera effects.
  • You can also tap the Aa icon to add a caption or tap the doodle icon to doodle.
  • Tap Your Story to add to your story and then tap the send button.
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How do you view Facebook Stories?

To view someone's story, follow these steps:

  • Tap a friend's profile picture in the Stories section at the top of your news feed. They will be able to see you have viewed their story.
  • While viewing a story, you can tap on the left of the screen to move backwards or tap on the right of the screen to move forwards. You can also tap and hold to pause a story.

How do you reply to a story on Facebook?

If you want to reply to someone's story, follow these steps:

  • While you're viewing a story, tap "Write a direct reply to [their name]". Direct replies can be found in the Direct section of the Facebook app and can only be seen by you and the recipient.
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How does Facebook Direct work?

If you want to share photos and videos with specific friends rather than via a story, Facebook offers a "Direct" option that’s designed for sharing "individual photos and videos with specific friends for a limited time". When you use Direct, your friends will be able to view your photo or video once and replay it or write a reply. Once the conversation on the photo or video ends, it is no longer visible in Direct.

When a friend sends you a direct photo or video, or replies to your story on Facebook, you can view and reply in the Direct section of the Facebook app. To use Direct, follow these steps:

  • To open Direct, tap the Direct button in the Facebook Stories row.
  • To view the photo or video, tap the blurred preview image.
  • To reply with a message, tap "Reply to [Friend's Name]"
  • To exit the photo or video, tap the X in the corner.

Now why not check out: What is Snapchat and how does it work?