Earlier this week, Mark Zuckerberg and the Facebook team made some big announcements about the changes that they will be making to the platform. The central theme behind everything they presented was giving users more privacy and bringing them closer together than ever before with a more community-centric platform.
Although Facebook doesn’t have the greatest reputation for privacy, Zuckerberg assured the audience that the organization was taking steps and revamping the very core of their product to ensure that everyone could feel safe while using Facebook moving forward.
Given that they are changing the way that Facebook operates, many business owners are wondering what the implications will be for their social strategy moving forward. In this article, I’ll explore the updates to Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram and determine what it means for users of the platform and how some of the new features can be utilized by businesses.
Facebook is turning into what Mark Zuckerberg has called a “privacy-focused social platform.” He also went on to mention that the way people are communicating has shifted towards “faster” methods; things like “private messages, small groups, and stories.”
Zuckerberg also discussed the vision he has behind making Facebook a privacy based social platform. Moving forward, Facebook will be guided by six principles:
- Private interactions
- Reduced permanence
- Secure data storage
To accomplish this, Facebook is going to have to implement some drastic changes to the platform. The new updates to the Facebook desktop site and mobile app have been named “FB5”. Some of the latest Facebook updates include:
- The ability to save your spot in the news feed and pick up where you left off
- Dark mode – to be easier on the user’s eyes when watching videos.
Facebook Ads Manager and Business Manager Updates
Facebook has introduced several new changes to Ads Manager and Business Manager with improved workflows in mind. The goals of the latest update are to:
- Do more in less time with streamlined workflows and a simplified design
- Find new advertising opportunities with enhanced reporting tools
- Set up more effective ads through enhanced creation workflows.
With the latest Facebook Ads Manager updates, you may have noticed a new navigation bar that enables you to switch between campaigns, ad sets, and ads. This is a great feature to help you get the information you’re looking for quickly within the platform.
Also, if you’ve logged in recently, you may have noticed the new integrated search bar and nested campaign view that is available. These features enable you to find details faster and get a better overview of the contents in each of your campaigns within Ads Manager.
If you’ve been running ads lately, you may have noticed that the old ad relevance score column is gone and it has been replaced by three metrics that measure ad relevance. These are Facebook’s new Ad Relevance diagnostics, and they are aimed at giving advertisers and agencies more insight into how they can improve their ads to achieve better results.
Later this year, you can expect to see a significant overhaul to the Business Manager platform. If you’ve ever requested access to a Facebook page for your agency, you will know that it’s currently a very convoluted process. The new updates will make it easier for agencies and advertisers to onboard new clients and organize information within the platform. If you’re a marketer, you’re going to be thankful for these Facebook Business Manager updates!
Facebook Jobs has been given a new interface that will improve the efficiency of the job application process. Employers will have a new template that will allow them to effectively fill out a job listing in their search for the perfect candidate. Those looking for a new job will now also be able to apply for a position within the Facebook app. Applying for a job and finding the perfect candidate for a job opening has never been more convenient!
Facebook Messenger Updates
Facebook’s Messenger app has become a staple when it comes to private communication over the last few years. It’s also become an excellent way for businesses to get in touch with their customers as it has some of the best open rates out of any other form of private messaging. Facebook announced some updates to the app during the F8 keynote that are going to change the way that users communicate within the app.
Facebook Messenger App Updates
It’s no secret that the Facebook Messenger application has a lot of bloat when it comes to the size of the app and the impact it has on the battery life of your phone.
Because of this, the Developer team at Facebook have taken steps to make the app lighter, faster, and more reliable than ever before. The app has been scaled down from over 200 MB to what is predicted to be under 30 MB with a cold start time of around 1.3s on modern smartphones and other mobile devices for the latest Facebook Messenger Update.
End to End Encryption
Remaining congruent with their focus on privacy, the new Facebook Messenger update will now feature end to end encryption by default. This is a big step towards ensuring that a user’s information will be secure and that users will feel protected when using Messenger.
Messenger “Friends” Tab
Messenger will also have a new “Friends” tab to help you keep in touch with the people that you care about the most. It will feature the people you interact with the most and display important updates from them so that you don’t miss a beat. Inside the tab, you will be able to share statuses, view stories and remember some of the memories you have had with your best friends on Facebook.
Watch Videos With Your Friends
Similar to the “Watch party” functionality in groups, you will now be able to watch Facebook videos together with your friends inside of the app. If you and a friend have been waiting for a new episode of your favourite web show, you can watch it together, at the same time from anywhere in the world.
Messenger Desktop Ap
Facebook also announced the new Facebook Messenger desktop app at the F8 conference. Now users will be able to seamlessly pick up where they left off with their messages from desktop or mobile devices without skipping a beat. All of the great features we have come to know and love will be available with a physical keyboard and a larger screen.
The proposed updates are taking big steps to make the app faster, more reliable, secure and user friendly than ever before. With the new functionality, users will be spending more time interacting with one another inside the app than before as well.
Messenger Business Tools
Now, all of the new bells and whistles Facebook has added to Messenger are great for the average Facebook user, but what have they done to make Messenger more business friendly?
Facebook has added a ton of valuable features to make it easier than ever before to generate more leads by using Messenger.
Facebook has added Lead Generation Templates for Facebook Messenger directly into Facebook Ads manager. These templates make it easy to qualify, categorize and close leads for businesses. With automated workflows and questions, you can provide a sales rep with all of the information they need to help a customer as soon as they can get to them.
Check out this lead generation workflow from Facebook Messenger and imagine what you could do with it for your business:
People also use Messenger to book appointments to meet with businesses. To make the booking process as streamlined as possible, Facebook has made it possible to integrate the Messenger API with a business calendaring system. This means that users can find an available time in your calendar directly in Facebook Messenger.
Think of what the ability to generate leads and book meetings within Facebook Messenger would do for your business. If you could generate leads that you could handle and schedule, it would be much easier to scale and grow your business. For the average business owner and anyone that has a scheduling capability in their point of sale software, this is going to be an absolute game changer.
Facebook Groups Updates
Mark Zuckerberg has placed a heavy emphasis on communities within the new Facebook redesign. Zuckerberg has said that he wants “communities to be as central as friends.” It all starts with the new “FB5” interface that will be coming to the redesigned Facebook app and website soon.
The Groups Tab
The new Group tab will literally be in the center of the navigation bar on the website and app. Communities really will be in the center of Facebook moving forward! Facebook group discovery has been made better than ever. With a “New Suggestions” interface and a search tool that can help you find groups you may be interested in, group interactions will be stronger than ever.
Share to Groups from the Post Composer
In terms of the ability to share content within groups, the option to share content exclusively to a group is being brought to the regular post composer within the platform. This is going to make it easier than ever to write a post, ask a question, start a poll, or share photos and videos with your favourite communities.
Admins can Post Anonymously on Your Behalf in Health Support Communities
Health support groups will now allow members to ask Admin to post things anonymously on their behalf. This could revolutionize the way that health and wellness communities operate. If anyone has been nervous to ask a question or wished to remain anonymous but still wanted to receive support from a strong community when discussing a sensitive topic, they now can.
Gaming communities have a new chat feature for any topic relating game that users are talking about. Whether its tips and tricks or a discussion thread, you’ll be able to instant message other users and converse about the game you are playing.
Facebook marketplace and shopping groups have been vastly improved with the FB5 update. Although using or creating a group for buying and selling goods within a certain category is effective, you will now be able to purchase items from retailers within the Facebook app and have the item shipped to your door at the checkout.
This could revolutionize e-commerce as we know it! If your business currently has a shoppable Facebook Marketplace, the new marketplace tools could be a game changer and help you sell more of your products than ever before.
Meet New Friends
Looking to expand your network? Facebook has the solution for you. With the “Meet New Friends” interface, you’ll be able to find people that share similar interests, go to the same school, or even work in the same field as you.
This blends elements of LinkedIn’s professional profile style and user search capabilities with the meetup mentality of Shapr. You can select what kind of people you are looking to meet, how you would like to meet them – whether it’s over coffee or lunch, and search for people that can add value to your network. This feature is opt-in only, but it could be a great way to make valuable connections and expand your network.
Groups for Businesses
Although only some of the features directly apply to businesses, the overall structure of the FB5 redesign is going to make groups more engaging than ever before. If your business isn’t currently utilizing Facebook groups to share content and engage customers, it’s time to get on it!
Given that there are a ton of new features, Facebook groups are going to be the heart of the platform moving forward. It will be exciting to see how these groups can be leveraged to make communities more effective. This update will make it easier for businesses to share their content to Facebook groups, engage and support customers within them, and make more sales.
The world was shocked when they heard the recent news about Instagram hiding the “Like” count on posts. Marketers and influencers cringed at the sound of losing one of their north star metrics for content creation. How will we know how engaging our competitors content is? Out of all of the Instagram updates we’ve seen, this one has made the biggest impact on the app by far.
At the end of the day, the number of likes is just a vanity feature for Instagram. We don’t a “Like” count to deliver the content that our followers crave and create a visually engaging experience. The new interface has been optimized to ensure that users can still have a great experience when using the app.
A Redesign of the Instagram Camera
The new camera is simpler and easier to use than ever before. The camera now has a “Create Mode” that makes it a breeze to share and create content even if you don’t have a photo to go along with it.
Create mode allows users to share:
- And the other cooler features Instagram has built into the app over the years.
If you just want to share some text about an upcoming event or announcement on your Instagram story without a photo, the new create mode will allow you to do that. Stories are a great way to engage your audience. If you haven’t been utilizing them as a part of your Instagram strategy, it’s time to start creating some content.
A Change in the Metrics that are Displayed
With the latest Instagram updates, businesses, influencers, and regular users were surprised by Instagram deciding to hide the number of likes that a post has received. The head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri announced that the follow count in profiles will still be visible, but it will be made less prominent in the new profile interface that will be released soon.
This means, as you scroll through your feed, there are no like counts. You can see who liked a post, but you will not see a tabulated count on the total number of likes a post has received. Only the owner of a post will be able to see the total number of likes a post has received. The goal behind this is to make more users pay attention to the content, not the number of likes that it has received.
Instagram Tries to Combat Bullying
Instagram teased some features they may implement to combat bullying within the app. Adam Mosseri made it clear that they are committed to taking steps to stop cyberbullying and put an end to it within the app.
The first feature is comment nudges. If you type something that the app detects as being aggressive or mean, the app will give you a nudge to rethink what you’re saying.
Instagram’s developers are also looking at implementing a host of safety tools to help control the number of people that are able to interact with you on the app. If someone is bothering you, you’ll be able to filter them or block them from taking certain actions.
Away mode is a way to temporarily deactivate your Instagram account when you’re going through a tough time. If you’ve had a big life change and you need some time away from social media to collect yourself, this is a great way to give yourself some space before returning to Instagram.
Instagram Creator Profiles
We have seen a countless number of brands using influencers to promote their product or service as of late. Instagram influencers, collaborations, and sponsored posts have nearly replaced traditional ads on Instagram in the last year because of how effective they can be. To help influencers, Instagram has released some new analytic tools for influencers so they can continue doing what they do best.
Until recently, you needed to have a business account to be able to view advanced analytics on Instagram. To give influencers more control over their accounts and access to advanced analytics, Instagram released the Creator Profile.
Influencers with an Instagram Creator Profile will now be able to determine when their followers are online, how much reach or engagement they have had over a set period of time, and they will be able to see detailed demographic information about their followers.
If you’ve been considering an influencer marketing campaign to gain some exposure for your product or service, this is great news. With Creator profiles, influencers will be able to provide brands with more detailed analytics on how well their posts are performing so brands can receive more detailed information and determine the ROI of their influencer campaigns.
The New Facebook, Messenger and Instagram Platform Updates are Awesome!
Well, there you have it! That’s our roundup on the new updates to the platforms and a little bit about what it means for your business. Many of these new features have been created with user experience in mind, but there are significant advantages for businesses as well.
Things like better advertising insights, more business and lead generation tools in Messenger, and the ability to run a stronger, more structured influencer campaigns means that there is a strong future ahead for businesses that use the three platforms. If you’re looking to begin a social media marketing campaign, the social marketing team at Konstruct Digital have the expertise to help you grow your accounts and your business.