Facebook continues to evolve.
Facebook change is a constant! Are you keeping up? Let me help!
Facebook recently held their (mostly) annual F8 conference for developers. This is where they talk about new tools and features they are rolling out, and it's a place to understand the next priorities and vision of Mark Zuckerberg and the Facebook Team. This year the event was held March 25 & 26 at their headquarters.
I'm going to outline key points I've taken away that I believe are important for businesses, social media managers, and Facebook marketers.
If I boil it down, it comes down to Messenger and Video.
Facebook has great plans for their Messenger App and businesses need to pay attention.
The reason they have this focused priority is because of the growth of messaging. Messaging apps are "in-demand" and are being adopted into the mainstream of the way we communicate, right now person-to-person primarily, but also business-to-customer.
Messenger is becoming a communication portal but even more than that a broad-ranging utility tool. Facebook recently announced the Person-to-Person (P2P) Facebook Messenger Payment system allowing users to easily send money and receive it from a friend. This is phase 1. Think e-commerce with businesses down the road!
Businesses need to be aware of this trend, the rapid growth of messaging apps (Messenger is one of the hottest downloads on iTunes), and opportunities coming to be used for marketing. Right now as a starting point businesses would be wise to download and use Messenger on a personal level. As well, Facebook pages should turn on the "Messaging" feature in their page to allow fans and visitors the ability to "Message" the Page.
At F8 Facebook announced a new set of tools available to developers. It reminded me back to the days of the launch of Facebook Pages. Facebook wanted to grow business use on Facebook so they opened up the API's for developers and tools like TabSite and Post Planner and more were born! The same opportunity holds true for Messenger. Watch for third party tools and features coming that will help businesses connect with consumers.
"Messenger Platform — Introducing a new way for apps to integrate with Messenger so people can better express themselves with GIFs, photos, videos, audio clips and more. For developers, this means more opportunities for growth and engagement."
Messenger is currently a mostly one-to-one type tool. Look for potential for one-to-many (think email marketing within Messenger) with the power of notifications, possibly e-commerce and more.
Messenger is a Facebook priority. Statistics show it is being adopted at a huge rate in the U.S. and worldwide. Therefore businesses need to watch this tool and be familiar with it!
Zuckerberg used the "Family of Apps" language at F8. This is the spreading of Facebook that is occurring. It is a social network but with Instagram, What's App (another messaging platform that is HUGE worldwide), Facebook Groups standalone app, and the Facebook Messenger App, Facebook also is a "family" of platforms. These individual apps reach different demographics and users, but building in inter-connectivity for them is the future.
Watch for more ways for users to share between Facebook and Groups for example, but also for possible ways to share from What's App to Facebook, and more ways to share to and from Facebook Messenger.
The business takeaway is to get familiar with each App at least on a personal use level so that as business features arise, your business is comfortable with the app and can explore the business uses.
The other key agenda was video. Facebook talked about how sharing on Facebook has progressed from text being dominant, to then images being dominant, and now how the rise of video is massively occurring.
Facebook video is taking marketshare away from YouTube as more and more people directly upload video to Facebook. Uploads on Facebook actually surpassed those on YouTube on a month-to-month basis late in 2014 and the trend continues.
One reason for this is because of the "auto-play" of Facebook native videos in the News Feed. A second reason is Reach. Facebook videos posted by Pages are getting seen by more viewers as Facebook's algorithm determines that viewers like videos and so it is a tool to reach more fans.
Because of this growth, Facebook has added a embeddable Video Player to their mix, enabling any public video to be added to any webpage. This is similar to what YouTube offers. Previously Facebook allowed the Post with the video to be embedded, but now, like YouTube, Facebook videos have a player and can be added to a blog post or web page. It's simply another simple step in Facebook video gaining more traction and cutting into the YouTube market!
This is cool!
There's a sample video here where Facebook compares the spherical video concept to the past dominant types of posts including text, images, and regular video.
Clearly this new form coming is highly engaging, personal, and has a depth factor to it!
Facebook notes about Spherical Video, it's "an immersive, 360-degree video experience in News Feed that lets you choose the viewing angle to explore your surroundings."
There's more in the Podcast! Listen in and then let me know what you think.
Are you using Messenger personally now?
Share your thoughts below!
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