The Latest Facebook Features That Marketers Should Note
What can marketers expect in Facebook’s 10 Year Plan? According to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s keynote at the this year’s F8 conference, it’s “developing a family of apps to share anything they want with anyone”. Facebook’s foundation for its ambitious undertaking has already been laid out quite successfully in the last few years, but it looks like they are willing to take it to a whole new level.
Here are some new features announced at the F8 conference marketers can expect moving forward. We’ll also include what this means for you as a marketer and how you can apply this to your business.
Virtual Assistants via Messenger
Facebook announced that it’s has made Messenger Platform bots available to all businesses. Messenger bots will give businesses the opportunity to connect with customers in new and helpful ways. This includes subscription automation, customized communications, and e-commerce purchases.
Marketers >> Expect Messenger bots to open up a brand new way of connecting to today’s consumers. It’s going to change the way we share and interact on social media forever. Currently, Messenger has 900 monthly users. We could very well see a paradigm shift from “public” to “private” social media with this new future.
Facebook mentions that they will provide best practices and guides for all businesses and developers to get started with these Messenger bots, including offering a list of “bot partners” if your business isn’t capable of handling that at the moment.
Facebook Live API
Facebook is placing a huge emphasis on video, and to add fuel to that fire, Facebook is introducing a “Facebook Live API”, which will allow “a new way for developers and publishers to join forces and build immersive and interactive live video experiences on Facebook.” Currently, Facebook Live is taking social media by storm but is limited to only personal mobile devices. With the Facebook Live API, marketers will have an opportunity to create live video on Facebook from a variety of setups and devices.
Marketers>> As of January 2016, Zuckerberg states that user are watching more than 100 million hours of video per day on Facebook, with that number rising everyday. With this new API, a brand’s options for creating live stream video are limitless. Businesses that can figure out a way to “go live” will rise to the top, and at the top of news feeds to boot.
Another video feature that Facebook is adding is a new mobile video browsing hub that will act as a video search engine for mobile devices, making easier for users to browse top videos from friends and family. There is an overall push for content discovery and this video feature will allow users to search for live video related in relation to trending news and topics.
Marketers>> It’s not about making videos, it’s about sharing videos. While one of Facebook’s current struggles has been stopping the decline of “original” content sharing, Facebook hopes to allow users (and marketers) the opportunity to create and share more of their own content, instead of just resharing news stories.
Included in Facebook’s optimistic plan for the future is the topic of virtual or augmented reality. Zuckerberg states that “eventually, we’re going to have what looks like normal-looking glasses that can do both virtual and augmented reality. And that augmented reality gives you the ability to see the world but also be able to overlay digital objects on top of that.”
Facebook introduced a 360 degree video camera to film virtual reality (VR) footage. The Surround 360 contains 17 cameras an will take $30,000 to build. Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer gave audience members a taste of Oculus Rift, which Facebook is calling “social VR,” connecting 2 people in a virtual world.
Marketers>> Well, virtual reality is still a very niche, expensive technology that has been limited to big-budget companies willing to spend to play into the VR trend. What most marketers will need to pay attention to is 360 video, which will gain popularity and become a top priority for tech companies. In addition to this, be on the look out for personal VR devices and technology that will change the way people connect.
Popular bookmarking plugins like Pocket have been a great tool for saving content to be shared or read later. Facebook is introducing its own “Save” button that will allow users to save content from anywhere on the web and save for viewing later across all devices.
Marketers>> Not a feature that’s anything new, but we’re looking forward to Facebook adding its own spin to it, like a way to measure number of “saves” for a piece of content like a blog article. That information could provide marketers with invaluable insight into what’s working and what’s not.
Cross Posting Video
Native video has become a huge hit on Facebook news feeds. To simplify posting and reposting video files, Facebook has launched a way for publishers to post videos easily across Pages owned by the same Business Manager account. Page owners can give other Pages in Business Manager permission to reuse a video and create new posts from previously uploaded video without having to reupload it. Aaamazing!
Marketers>>More videos and more video posts! There’s no doubt that video is taking social media to a whole new level, and not at all surprising, native video (video directly uploaded to social media sites) is what is most effective. Whether you’re a small business or a brand creating multiple pages to engage different audiences, this video sharing feature will definitely be useful for you to not only reshare videos but track performance.
Have you noticed lately that some Facebook post links to sites load faster than others? While they’ve been around since May 2015, Instant Articles have now opened up to all publishers as of April 12. Instant Articles makes a user’s reading experience ten times faster than the standard mobile web articles (which can take up to 8 seconds to load). Instant Articles will also feature auto play videos and tap-to-zoom images.
Marketers>> Expect a better way to reach your customers than the conventional blog article. Instant Articles can be an effective way to extend reach to your blog site and generate more engagement on your Facebook page.
Account Kit is a new feature that will help app developers gain sign ups and downloads by giving users a choice to create an account using their phone number or email without a need for a password.
Marketers>> With Account Kit, users don’t have to share any information from their Facebook profile; they don’t even need a Facebook profile. With the ease of Account Kit, marketers have the opportunity to increase sign-ups and expand audiences for apps.