New Facebook Stories API helps creators share directly from third-party desktop or web apps

Meta is introducing a new API that makes it easier to create and share a Facebook Story directly from a third-party desktop or web app.

The social networking ad titan first introduced Stories to the main Facebook app in 2017, emulating a feature it had added to Instagram the previous year as well as to Messenger and WhatsApp — these features were more or less “borrowed” from Snapchat, serving as a more ephemeral way of sharing video and image-based content that didn’t hang around on a user’s profile for eternity.

While Facebook itself has north of 3 billion users, Meta doesn’t typically break out user numbers for Stories, though CEO Mark Zuckerberg did share that it had passed 500 million users back in 2019.

Meta has previously opened up access to sharing content to Stories from other mobile apps, but with the new Facebook Stories API, it’s now possible for content-focused creator software to integrate their web or desktop apps directly with Facebook Stories — this is likely aimed at the more professional market, somewhat acknowledged by Meta, which refers to the new product as an “enterprise solution.”

Moving forward, apps that integrate with the new API will enable their users to share directly to Facebook Stories with minimal friction. For example, companies such as Adobe, Canva and Picsart offer tools specifically to create Facebook Stories, replete with image editors, templates, and other customizable tidbits — but at the end of it all, the user has to download their story and re-upload it to Facebook.

With the Facebook Stories API, developers can include a single button share directly inside their app, though this will of course require the app maker to implement Facebook Login authentication for the end user to grant access to their personal or business accounts.

Apps that have already gone through the Facebook approval process won’t have to do so again to access the Stories API.