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The latest 2013 updates should be of interest to any business marketer interested in capturing more Likes and leads in the coming year. Social media changes constantly, as does the Internet as a whole, and the following Facebook updates should keep you in the loop so that you’re not surprised the next time you log in to view your Facebook profile.
Single Column Format
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According to a recent Mashable article, one of the first Facebook updates of the new year is going to be a single column timeline. This is only for personal accounts right now, but we expect it to be rolled out to affect brand accounts in the coming year.
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Many marketers are nervous about this Facebook update because the old format allowed for the inclusion of apps on a person’s profile. And, as you know, those apps were ideal for promoting a brand’s online and social presence.
With the single column format, the ability to promote on Facebook is diminished, but it’s not entirely gone altogether.
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As ShortStack said, “If they do apply similar changes to [Business] Pages, I don’t think it’s really a big deal. The best practice (has always been) to promote apps is via the newsfeed or ads, so if apps have reduced prominence it won’t be that much of a shift.”
This is one of the 2013 Facebook updates that we will be watching closely. We’re not too worried, though. Facebook has an interest in seeing brands succeed, so we’re sure they’ll develop yet more ways for brands to get the attention they’re after.
Along with the single column timeline, you will also notice a new set of tabs. Now your Likes, photos, maps and other elements that you used to see under your profile photo are condensed into easy-to-find tabs. With a single click, you can view your timeline, your About, your friends list, photos and more. You can even organize your tabs in the ‘Collections Manager’.
This is one of those 2013 Facebook updates that the company hopes will make the platform much easier to navigate for new and advanced users alike.
$1 Facebook Messages
One of the Facebook updates you might want to look out for this year is the $1 message. If you notice, your inbox is separated into a primary inbox and one labeled ‘Other’. The ‘Other’ is your spam box. For $1, Facebook is testing a program whereby a person can send someone who is not on their friends list a message for a $1 that will show up in the person’s primary inbox. This is one of those 2013 Facebook updates that we don’t expect will last very long, but we have been surprised before. At any rate, we’ll be watching this one closely.
Video Ads in News Feeds
The Facebook updates we see this year are primarily designed to help businesses succeed. Since the company went public, it has been under immense pressure from shareholders to make money off of its billion-strong user list. One of the Facebook updates that is designed to make money is the video ad program.
One of the most ambitious 2013 Facebook updates includes putting video ads in users’ news feeds. This video will be on autoplay and will run for 15 seconds. This is a good chance for brands to advertise to users in an entirely new way.
Will users tolerate auto-played videos in their timelines? Only time will tell, but all those Facebook investors and shareholders should be pleased with the program, as it should cause a boon in Facebook advertising revenue.
Cover Photo Updates
This Facebook update is designed to make the site look a little more professional and spam-free. In a bid to attract more advertisers, the company is cracking down on any cover photos that violate the new Terms and Conditions. This means that your photo can not include a call-to-action, it can’t include any promotional advertising at all, there should be no contact information and no more than 20% test period. And of course you can’t violate copyright with the photo in question.
If you are using a cover photo that is in violation of these 2013 Facebook updates, we recommend that you change it now before you get a violation. Stay in Facebook’s good graces, keep a look out for even more 2013 Facebook updates to alter the way we use the popular social network and keep on updating your profile to succeed on Facebook this year.