Everyone is talking about the latest Facebook changes. Lastweek Facebook held its annual developer conference — F8 Summit — in San Jose, California. Despite the event being branded as a developer event, F8 is also a huge event for marketers like myself. So lets run through the latest Facebook changes, major announcements and discuss how they’ll affect us marketers and the small business owner doing their own social media marketing on facebook.
For 2019, Facebook is making sure that not only what we say is safeguarded, but there will also be work put towards reducing a post or message’s permanence. Facebook’s getting a total new redesign, with a new look that may be an attempt to shift away from the traditional Facebook blue. Each element will get its own dedicated focus, as you can see from the Groups tab, making it easier to navigate through the various elements. On mobile, the Facebook blue is also being scaled back considerably.
We see bigger buttons, a top bar with quick access to different Facebook functions, and Facebook stories placed above the News Feed. But the redesign is more than just aesthetics—Facebook redesigned itself around Groups and maybe this is the most important part of this article. What will happen to your business pages and how you will embrace the shift from business pages to group interactions? The new design “puts your communities at the center.” It does this by providing quick access to groups from an ever-present left-hand sidebar and adding a groups quick button to the top of the app.
New Updates to Video Ranking
Facebook changes includes how videos are ranked in platforms and distributed in newsfeeds. When you’re creating video, make sure that you’re offering value. Threse factors will be prioritised:
Loyalty and intent, which includes intent and repeat viewership. Viewing duration. Facebook wants to see that videos are capturing users’ attention for at least one minute, so those that keep viewers engaged. Originality. Unoriginal or repurposed content may see limited distribution, especially if you’re sharing content from other sources and not adding much value of your own.
Messenger Gets an Update
It only makes sense that Messenger gets an update too, right? According to Facebook, Messenger will be getting a “lighter, faster” mobile app and desktop site at some point later this year. We know that Facebook has expressed interest in integrating three of its messaging apps– Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram direct– so that the three standalone apps are relatively seamlessly integrated. This could be one step re-engineering the architecture of the platform completely. Facebook wants it to be faster and easier for users to use, focusing on chat but also offering video co-watching abilities.
More users than ever are connecting with businesses on social media, so the ability to streamline this process in a way that’s valuable to both the customer and the brand is outstanding news. Integrations of appointment creation and lead generation will be hugely helpful, because native features are always good. Users can even add appointments directly to their calendars with a single click of the button, increasing the likelihood of a follow through.
These features are still in beta-testing, but we’re hoping to see them later this year.
As for Events
Part of Facebook changes is putting a big emphasis on helping you find stuff to do in your neighborhood. The new events tab, which now sits next to the groups tab in the new menu bar layout, has a richer map view for seeing where the events you’re interested in are in proximity to one another.
What can marketers learn from the Facebook redesign
This redesign makes it clear that the future of Facebook is not for brands. Instead, it shows Facebook is continuing it’s 2018, post-Cambridge Analytica promises to put “meaningful content” from friends, family, and groups first. It means marketers need to adapt their Facebook marketing plans, moving away from News Feed and continuing its transition to a more friends-and-family focused platform.
A big part of the Facebook changes is a push towards giving users the content they’re most likely to want to see and interact with, which is ultimately good for brands wanting to connect with them. It sets the bar high for content, but if you adapt and focus on connecting with your audience instead of just shouting sale information at them, you’ll be in good shape.
Note from CEO Mark Zuckerberg:
“Facebook is in the earliest stages of completely redefining the type of company it wants to be and the products it wants to offer, following CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s pledge last month to transition the social network into a “privacy-focused communications platform.” Part of that process involves knitting together its three massive messaging and photo-sharing apps into one unified service, despite the obvious complications there.”