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What’s the Story on the New Facebook Stories?

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Facebook Stories is a new Facebook website that compiles a selection of user-generated stories from Facebook and publishes insights on the topic of the month.

For this first installment, Facebook's project has collected and analyzed stories based on life events users published to their individual Timelines for their first monthly theme, Remembering. These life events include travel updates, relationship status changes, and status updates about everything from getting new pets to breaking bones.

One story tells the tale of Mayank Sharma, who suffered a total memory loss after battling tubercular meningitis. He used Facebook’s People You May Know to get back in touch with family and friends. In another, the Guelph, Ontario, owner of the Apollo Eleven diner shares his experience trying to restore the historical building that houses his business.

It’s a feel-good, warm and fuzzy website designed to pull on the heartstrings of Facebook users and make them feel better about their participation on the social networking site. Its tagline, “People using Facebook in amazing ways,” screams for users to fall back in love and spend more time on the site, becoming ever more comfortable sharing their Stories with the world.

The accompanying infographic satisfies a curiosity, at best, if you really want to know whether people post about their new puppy or new marriage most often. For marketers, though, there’s little to take away; Facebook’s ad targeting tool offers a far better glimpse into users segmented by region, age, education, etc., and whether they may be interested in a product or service.

If you find yourself wondering, what’s the point? Facebook spokesperson Tucker Bounds explains to ABC News:

The project started as a result of our seeing a number of stories coming into the company from different channels, including stories we would read about in the media. We wanted to create a place where we could celebrate great stories.

It probably doesn’t hurt to generate some über-happy, heartwarming content in the wake of Facebook’s problem-riddled IPO, an advertising controversy, and revelations of 83 million fake profiles.

If you’re interested in learning whether people update their status more about moving or getting engaged, or which country is home to those who post the most travel updates, you can check out Facebook’s infographic portrayal of fun but useless user factoids.

This is a reboot of sorts, as Facebook previously launched Facebook Stories as an app back in 2010 – one that died a quiet death sometime last year.

Twitter launched their Stories site back in November, 2011... stay tuned to see if Google follows suit with a Google+ Stories collection. Maybe LinkedIn and Pinterest will jump in, too. 

What do you think of Facebook Stories? Let us know in the comments.

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