FaceBook is constantly up against a barrage of competitors in the social media arena and it knows it must continuously advance if it hopes to remain relevant. Advance it has. FaceBook is about to introduce a whole host of new features and algorithm changes that will make it even more robust and useful for new and old users alike. Let’s take a peek into the FaceBook’s secretive development headquarters to see what plans we can unravel.
On This Day
One of the newest changes in FaceBook news today is the ‘On This Day’ feature which gives users a glimpse of what their timeline would look like exactly one year ago today (or from the day the new FaceBook feature is viewed). This is an excellent opportunity for the social network to keep users on the site longer, which is a fantastic opportunity for marketers to continue to drive their messages home.
While users are reminiscing about what they and their friends were doing this time last year, you will be able to showcase your ads and other marketing materials, hopefully converting them from prospects into hungry buyers.
This FaceBook feature (also known as re-bumping) takes popular posts – ones that have received a larger than average amount of likes and comments – and ‘bumps them up’ to the top of your timeline for your friend who may have scrolled down far enough to see them. This gives extra exposure to users’ and marketers’ posts and it can contribute to even more likes, comments and overall attention.
The latest FaceBook news is also mentioning the Last Actor feature, which tracks users’ last fifty interactions on the site. That data is then used to determine who should be seen more often in your timeline. This is a good incentive for marketers to communicate with their fans and followers and to Like and comment more often so that you can be one of the Last Actors to hit their timelines.
Twitter isn’t the only social media platform to use hashtags. Now FaceBook is getting in on the hashtag revolution. The platform uses the hash as a way to group conversations together around particular topics, similar to how Twitter users it.
Marketers can then use the hashtag to call attention to their products, industries or brands. Don’t be spammy with your hashes, make sure they remain relevant, but definitely use them to get as much FaceBook attention as possible.
New Page Cover Image Rule Changes
If you haven’t been following FaceBook news, you may be surprised to find that the rules surrounding FaceBook cover images has changed. The platform rules used to state that you couldn’t have your website name, contact information or any calls-to-action in the cover image. You also couldn’t have any arrows pointing to any features. These rules have changed, and the 20% text rule, which states that there must not be more than 20% text in any one ad or image, is gone (except for paid products). This means that, as an online marketer, you can now go a bit wild with your marketing cover image, as long as you adhere to the rules that are currently in place.
Twitter has long enabled marketers to place retweeted and other popular Twitter posts on their websites. This embed feature not only calls attention to the message listed in the Tweet, but it also draws more attention to the marketer’s Twitter profile. FaceBook, it seems, is paying attention.
The platform is now planning a similar embed feature that will allow marketers to spread their messages far and wide exactly as they’re seen in the FaceBook news feed.
New York Times Goes Down, Turns To FaceBook
While not technically a few feature or design change, this next story does highlight the growing popularity and usefulness that FaceBook has been garnering pretty much since its inception. Just a few days ago the website of one of the world’s largest publications, the New York Times, recently went offline and instead of remaining silent, the news source decided to publish their breaking stories on FaceBook.
That just goes to show you how Powerful FaceBook is for marketers as well as users. The platform has remained the number one social network for years; and even Twitter, the number two most popular social network, is light years from ever knocking FaceBook off its pedestal. Yes, Zuckerberg’s answer to the social network is here to stay and, as marketers, we should all be looking forward to these updates – and all future updates – that make the social network the powerhouse it is today.