Microsoft has started testing a new photo story feature in OneDrive, the company’s cloud storage service. While still lacking a true alternative to Google Photos, the Redmond giant is trying to add a new social component to OneDrive, which can be a pretty handy solution for storing photos, especially for Microsoft 365 subscribers.
“Photo story brings all your memories into a private, invitation-only feed that you can share with family and friends, and it supports comments, reactions, and notifications to spur authentic interactions through photos that people actually care about, explained Catherine Feldman, Senior Program Manager for Connected Media at Microsoft.
Compared to the popular “story” format popularized by Snapchat and Instagram, Microsoft is touting privacy as the key differentiator. “With OneDrive photo story, you can deepen your personal connections and tight-knit communities without compromising your privacy or personal data,” Feldman emphasized.
OneDrive photo stories are launching in public preview in Australia today, and the feature will roll out to the US and other regions later this year. It’s currently available in the OneDrive mobile apps and the web, though work or school accounts are not supported. You can learn more details about how the feature works on this support page.
In recent years, Microsoft’s various experiments in the social space haven’t always been successful, to say the least. The company previously added Snapchat-like stories to Skype and LinkedIn before removing them, though OneDrive photo stories aren’t exactly comparable.
If you do use OneDrive to save all your photos in the cloud, then maybe you’ll find a use case for OneDrive photo stories. However, this feature probably won’t be enough to turn people away from the much more popular Google Photos and other social media platforms.