This Week in Social Media... Err... Facebook Platform Changes
With two exceptions (a Vine "watch" button and an Instagram "Explore" update to feature video) this week was all about Facebook. Here's a F8 list and what these changes might mean for you.
- •Bots!What’s new: Facebook Messenger is now open for all publishers to build bots Status Check: Messenger has 900 million active users; 60 billion messages are sent via Messenger & WhatsApp every day (20 billion were sent on SMS at its peak) How others are using: CNN has a bot that recommends stories to users based on preferences and learned interests. / Facebook built a Sponsored Messages bot, letting brands target users who have already conversed with them.
- •Instant Articles for allWhat’s new: IA are available to all publishers; you can now post entire articles and multimedia content directly to the newsfeed. The “Instant Articles Partner Program” helps you work with open source platforms and developers to enhance IA for your Page. Status Check: Facebook research says users prefer IA to mobile web stories; they’re less likely to abandon IA articles before they load.
- •Facebook Live: new featuresWhat’s new: •Ability to broadcast and watch Live within Groups and Events •Live reactions and invite a friend to join •Live Filters allow broadcasters to edit the video in real time, add animations, draw on the screen •Facebook Mobile App has new section dedicated to live video – Live Icon brings you to browse and discover broadcasts •New “Live Map” that illustrates live broadcasts in 60 countries •New metrics: Live broadcast audience, Viewers during live broadcasts
- •Facebook Live APIWhat’s new: Integration of live streaming into third-party apps and devices, like a drone. Broadcast quality streams Best practice repercussions: Facebook will weigh Live broadcasts in algorithm for Q2; Opens doors for professional broadcasts; More engagement on live video; Social journalism – finding and verifying new stories via Live
- •Crossposted videosWhat’s new: Ability to crosspost videos within and across Pages under the same Business Manager; also access to a single, aggregate view count and total performance insights for a crossposted video. Best practice repercussion: United view counts for all Facebook videos, and ability to see how its performing in different Pages w/ different audiences
- •Branded content policy updateWhat’s new: Facebook changed their policy, now allowing verified Page to share branded content on Facebook, as long as you use their new tool that tags a brand or sponsor in the post. Status Check: Before now, there was no way to recognize funders/sponsors without breaking Facebook’s TOS.
- •Facebook Rights ManagerWhat’s new: A new set of admin tools that help publishers manage and protect video content on Facebook Status Check: Plagairism and piracy on Facebook is rampant, and Facebook has been criticized at not taking down rights-protected content. Best practice repercussion: We can enforce the rights of our content that others are uploading to Facebook
- •Better bookmarkingWhat’s new: “Save to Facebook” button for the web. You can add the button to article templates, and hitting the button saves the article/video to a queue (just like Pocket or Instapaper) Status Check: The current (hidden) “Save” feature has 250m users each month Best practice repercussion: Facebook improving how people read/consume content (especially longer form) on the platform
- •Automatic alternative textWhat’s new: Tools helps those who are visually impaired user Facebook to “see” the newsfeed. The tool recognizes images and words associated with different topics Best practice repercussion: Image recognition technology. AI to improve how we read and understand the content of news stories (to recommend better content)
- •New sharing tool for textWhat’s new: New quote-sharing tool for developers to add to their apps. You can highlight text in any app, and share it to Facebook (shows up as a new post in block quote format, with a link back to the URL). Best practice repercussion: New source of Facebook traffic back to your site/app
- •Visual search engineWhat’s new: Facebook launched a visual search engine to get users to watch more original content. Allows you to search features for the videos by keyword search Current status: Video shares on Facebook are down 15% compared to last year. Best practice repercussion: Success on Facebook will be even more tied to video going forward. Building a strong archive of native video content will help as FB rolls out search.
- •Virtual realityFacebook is working on touch controllers for Oculus Rift; are looking at how to make virtual reality “social”
- •Facebook SurroundFacebook introduced an open-source video camera, 17-camera setup to get pictures in 360 degrees and automatically render the images