Facebook doesn’t care. It’s urging users of Messenger, one of the social network’s Snapchat clones, to open the app and enjoy a variety of “festive frames and stickers” this New Year’s Eve.
The notification—which you might’ve received on your phone Thursday—is an open invite to explore Messenger’s not-so-well-advertised snapping features. Open the app, and you’ll see a circle at the bottom of your screen, emblazoned with “2017”:
Tap that and Snapch—er, Messenger’s photo and video-taking feature will open.
You’ll see a bunch of New Year’s Eve-flavored filters at the bottom. Select one and it’ll superimpose itself over whatever’s happening on your screen.
Some of them interact directly with your face:
Once you’re done, you can send your photo or video to a friend, or many friends. Unlike Snapchat, they won’t automatically delete themselves after they’re viewed, and they can be forwarded, saved locally or transmitted to Facebook for sharing later.
Messenger, which Facebook aggressively foisted upon users by disabling the direct messaging feature in the core Facebook app, is said to have over 1 billion monthly users.
The social network has reportedly struggled with a decline in personal sharing recently, meaning people aren’t posting as much about themselves, including photos and videos. While Snapchat is considerably smaller than Facebook—150 million daily users versus 1.18 billion—it’s designed for intimate sharing, and thus, it’s edged in on an important part of Facebook’s turf.
So: Facebook copies Snapchat at every opportunity and blasts its users with annoying smartphone notifications to ensure everyone’s aware of the new features.
And that’s how the war for your attention is waged moving into 2017 💁