Facebook rolls out Slideshow movie-maker to compete with Google and Apple

Most people can’t shoot compelling videos, and static photos are boring. That’s why the tech giants are all pushing their own versions of automatic movie makers based on your media. This month, Apple announced its version called Memories coming to iOS 10 Photos, Google Photos already has its Movies Assistant and today Facebook is rolling out Slideshow to all iOS users around the world.

Originally launched in August as part of Facebook’s photo-sharing companion app Moments, Slideshow began testing with some users as part of the Facebook app’s status composer in December. Now if you’ve taken more than five photos or videos in the last 24 hours and go to post a status, Facebook will suggest you create a Slideshow. It may also give you the option to “Try It” when viewing a friend’s Slideshow.

Each Slideshow is automatically composed for you, combining photos and videos with themed music and transitions. You can edit it to add or remove images, and change the theme to one of 10, including Nostalgic, Playful, Night Out, Birthday, Epic, Thankful, Tropical, Bollywood and Amped.

While these are created from your stored media, they could help Facebook compete with Snapchat’s Stories, which show the last 24 hours of stuff you’ve posted in a chronological narrative. Facebook explains that “We all know that people love to snap photos and share what they’ve been up to on the weekends, whether it’s a family gathering, a road trip with friends, or even an epic brunch, and this fun new feature will let you stitch together those special photos into a format that captures the spirit of the event.

Facebook has reportedly seen a drop in personal content sharing over the past few years as links to news articles began to dominate the News Feed. Meanwhile, a lot of that off-the-cuff lifecasting has slid over to Snapchat. Facebook wants that unique, irreplaceable sharing to live on its social network, and Slideshow will make that easier.

Typically, you might only select the one best photo or video from an adventure to post on Facebook. Its algorithmically ranked feed preferences this style over rapid-fire posting like on Twitter. But the Slideshow music, movement and transitions jazz up your less eye-catching images and turns them into something worth watching.