Facebook has had a major update. There’s now a new way to share your adventures with friends, and it’s called Facebook Stories.

It’s a much more visual way of sharing, and gives some pretty cool ways of jazzing up your photos and videos.

So how do you use it? And how is it different from regular Facebook? Read on, and you’ll be a Facebook Stories expert in no time.

What is Facebook Stories?

Stories is effectively another News Feed, but one that relies on visual rather than written information. It basically adds new filters and effects to the camera, and requires you to select the Stories section, rather than just posting to Facebook as you normally would. Because it relies on the camera, it’s only available on Facebook’s mobile apps for now, not the desktop version.

Who can I share Facebook Stories with?

Anyone that you’re friends with. You can choose to share with a group of people, or just one individual, if you like.

How long do Facebook Stories last?

Once posted, they’ll stay viewable for 24 hours. After that, they disappear. In other words, it’s just like Snapchat Stories. Stories don’t appear in your Timeline or News Feed by default unless you post them there too.

What is the Stories row?

This is a section at the top of your News Feed that contains all of your Stories. Basically, when you add a photo or video to a Story, it will appear here. If someone wants to see your Stories, this is where they click.

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Facebook Stories camera effects

What are the Facebook Stories Camera effects?

Facebook’s camera also has some new tricks. You can now add masks, frames and interactive filters to your photos and videos. For something a little different, try out the reactive effects – these let you interact with dynamic objects you’ve added to the video, like falling snow – and style effects that let you add filters in real time. Facebook has also partnered with brands to create masks for upcoming films like Alien: Covenant, Despicable Me 3 and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and artists like Douglas Coupland and Hattie Stewart have also contributed their own effects.

Facebook stories aliens guardians minions

What is direct sharing?

Created a story but only want select friends to see it? You can now choose to share direct with only specific people, thanks to direct sharing. Your chosen friends will be able to view your photo or video once, replay it and write a reply. Once the conversation ends, the photo or video will no longer be visible.

Facebook Direct

How do you get your photos ready for Facebook Stories?

There are three ways to get started. You can tap the Your Story icon in the Stories bar, tap the Camera icon in the top left of the screen or swipe right from your News Feed. Then press the record button once to take a photo, or hold it to record a video. Already have a photo or video you want to share? You can upload it from your camera roll.

How do you add camera effects?

It’s easy. Just swipe up or tap the Effects icon to see the selection of frames, masks and effects which you can add. You can also add words by tapping the text icon – maybe you’d like to add a caption – or press the doodle icon to start scribbling. When your masterpiece is complete, just press the download icon to save your photo or video.

How do you post to Facebook Stories?

All you have to do is tap Your Story, then hit the Send button. All done.

Can you reply to Facebook Stories?

You can. You just need to press where it says ‘Write a direct reply’, then type away. Direct replies can only be seen by you and the recipient.

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