Microsoft is updating its Xbox app to allow players to create, share and view Snapchat-like stories, the company announced this week. Players can share their favorite gaming moments including game clips, screenshots and achievements with their friends and the Xbox community. You can also reply to your friends’ stories with a message or a quick reaction. The new feature is now available in Australia on both iOS and Android, and is coming to more regions soon.
You can create a story by clicking the "+" button on your gamertag located within the stories channel. From there, you can select the game clip, screenshot or achievement that you want to share from the gallery. Once you've selected what you want to share, you'll be taken to a preview page where you can choose to add a caption to your story. The story will be live for 72 hours and will also be posted to your activity feed on your profile.
The concept of stories first launched with Snapchat and has been adopted by numerous apps and services over the past few years, with Instagram, Spotify, TikTok, LinkedIn, Netflix and more launching their own story features. However, TikTok's rise in popularity has led some companies to move away from stories to focus on scrolling feeds and short-form video. For example, LinkedIn scrapped its Stories feature last year and began working on a different way to add short-form videos to the platform. In addition, Spotify and Instagram have been spotted testing a TikTok-style vertical video feed in their apps. It's possible that Microsoft will also adopt a more TikTok-like approach with its stories feature in the future.
Alongside the new stories feature, Microsoft also introduced a new quality of service (QoS) tagging feature on Xbox consoles. The new feature sets priority tags on latency-sensitive outbound networking traffic such as party chat, console streaming and multiplayer. Microsoft says the new feature will help ensure that your gaming experience isn't interrupted by connection issues during times of congestion on networks. The new feature can be located under advanced settings. Under QoS Tagging Settings, you'll see two new options: DSCP Tagging Enabled and WMM Tagging Enabled.
"From game capture and share improvements, to helping games load faster, and so much more, we’re always listening and looking for ways to improve Xbox experiences for gamers around the world," Microsoft said in a blog post about the announcement.
The new launches come as Microsoft is reportedly creating an ad program that will allow brands to advertise in free-to-play Xbox games. Microsoft is aware that inserting ads into games could be bothersome to users, which is why it’s taking a cautious approach to the idea and is planning to create a private marketplace where only select brands would be able to buy ad space and display ads in ways that don’t disrupt gameplay.