Facebook - "somebody that I used to know"

Watching Mark Zuckerberg prostrate himself to the adoring public at the keynote of the Facebook Developers Conference ever year (this year F8) produces one of two emotions, excitement or sheer boredom. This year - it's excitement.

In my last post I talked about the messenger platform, so I won't bore you with that. There's a lot more to be had however, as Facebook is changing into something unrecognisable, something that marketers must know of.

Live API

This great tool offers "a new way for developers and publishers to join forces to build immersive and interactive live video experiences on Facebook." In other words, businesses can now stream Facebook Live broadcasts from a variety of devices and setups, advancing previous notions of live video from personal phones alone.

In January 2016 Facebook claimed to be streaming around 100 million hours of video on the platform. It's no secret that video will become a major factor in how the new Facebook algorithm will work. For marketers, figure it out now, and rise to the top of the newsfeeds across the board.

Video Discovery

You've likely all seen the mobile browsing hub in which Facebook mobile have started to place serious focus on the consuming public watching video after video after video. Ultimately, Facebook is struggling to stop a decline in "original" sharing. While users are sharing news stories, they're posting less and less content from their own lives. For marketers, this means, go live and go live now.

Profile Expression Kit

Facebook's Profile Expression Kit will be a great opportunity for businesses to bring their profile picture to life and show off their personality. Marketers can think of the kit as yet another way to connect with audience members in an authentic way. Those that do will stand out from the rest. For marketers, this means, be authentic (and pretend you are on Vine).

Instant Articles

Whilst originally reserved for big publishers, instant articles are now live for you and I. The idea is that the reading experience becomes ten times faster than standard mobile web articles - which Facebook say can take up to 8 seconds to load. I think this is a good thing, I'm reading a lot more and saving a lot more for future reference - rather than opening in Safari out of frustration. Plus there's all those interactive features that help stories come to life on mobile, including auto-play video and tap-to-zoom image galleries.
Instant articles should be a great way to extend the reach of your content and generate more engagement on Facebook, perhaps to the detriment of your website mind you.

As a starter though, the early stats Facebook released alongside the announcement look encouraging:

  • Instant Articles received 20% more clicks than mobile web articles from the News Feed
  • Once someone clicks on an Instant Article, they're 70% less likely to abandon the article before reading
  • They are shared 30% more than mobile web articles on average

There was of course, a number other things to watch in the moonshot department of Facebook, with Facebook VR being one of them. However, those things listed above, are those that matter now, not 2020.

Let's wait and see what the F9 Conference holds...

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