Don’t worry, Facebook hasn’t revealed a major algorithm update that is going to send our pages’ reach crashing down at an alarming rate. At least, I haven’t heard anything 😐
No, these updates are much less impactful, but could be cool tools to use in a social strategy soon. Here’s what you might have missed this month from Facebook…and a couple of Zuckerberg GIFs to make my blog post more visually interesting.
Helping People Connect with Local Businesses
This update seems pretty sweet, in my opinion, especially for companies. But, even if you don’t manage a Page for a revenue-generating organization, these new updates could still benefit your brand.
First, Facebook is redesigning Pages on mobile to make it easier for people to find what they’re looking for. Some of the examples Facebook provides are making a reservation at a restaurant (FINALLY), and booking an appointment at the salon.
Next, Facebook is making the Recommendations section more prominent on Pages, which is great news. When an organization receives a recommendation on Facebook, it’s safe to say the recommendation is typically positive (compared to some of the nasty reviews all Pages unfortunately get from time to time).
Facebook says it’s continuing to build Events, but what specifically caught my eye was this: “Events that sell tickets directly on Facebook have seen two times more people getting tickets than when they’re ticketed on a website alone.” Football games, concerts, lectures, etc. Events happen every day on campus, and while we’ve seen the power of Events, I have never tested ticket sales through Events. Might be worth a try. There is also a new “Local” section on the Facebook app that allows users to see local businesses and events around them.
Launching Watch, Ad Breaks and Creator Studio Globally
Facebook launched Watch last year in the U.S. Watch allows users to find videos their friends have liked or shared, or videos uploaded by creators they like to follow. On mobile, the Watch button is at the bottom of the app next to the newsfeed icon and looks like a little TV. I have definitely gotten lost for what seems like years within Watch. It almost reminds me of Vine (RIP), but with much longer videos. (In fact, when I pulled up Watch this morning one of the top videos was titled “RIP Vine.” I’d say Facebook is pretty in tune with my entertainment preferences.)
Here’s why it matters. This month, Watch went global, which means all Pages’ videos are eligible to show up in the Watchlists of people who follow your page. The likeliness of that happening if you aren’t a big page like Buzzfeed or Netflix? I have no idea. I do know that Facebook is giving greater distribution to videos that people seek out and come back to in News Feed and Watch. Users are also able to customize their Watchlists by adding or removing Pages they want or don’t want to see. If Watchlist takes off, it will make creating quality and entertaining videos even more important for brands.
Ad Breaks, or those ads that interrupt your video viewing experience (like commercials) on Facebook, are now open to eligible Pages. Publishers can choose their own potential ad placements, or allow Facebook to select the best placements for the ads.
Want to get your ad in a video? Eligible Pages must:
- Have been creating 3-minute videos that have generated more than 30,000 1-minute views in total over the past two months
- Have 10,000 or more Facebook followers
- Meet Facebook’s Monetization Eligibility Standards
- Be located in a country where Ad Breaks are available (U.S., UK, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia for now. In September, Facebook will extend Ad Breaks to 21 additional countries)
To check your Page’s eligibility, get started here.
This is a cool tool for Pages that represent personal brands/individuals, but is not available for Pages representing organizations. If you’re interested in building your personal brand through video, I’ve included a link to the full update below.
Watch Party Launches Globally
Watch Party allows people to watch videos together and interact with each other in real time. From my understanding of it, the experience is like sitting around a computer with your friends watching a bunch of funny videos online, but instead of everyone around one computer, friends can watch videos together from all around the world.
While Watch Party is currently only available in Groups, Facebook is exploring the idea of extending the feature to Pages in the future. How cool would it be to host a Watch Party centered around a big football game or graduation? This is definitely a feature to keep your 👀 on in the future. If you manage a Group, it might be worth trying out Watch Party to get familiar with the tool.
(Another quick Groups update: People can now find mentors and mentees in Groups. This could be a really awesome feature if you manage a Group for your university. Who isn’t looking for a mentor in college?)
New Authorization for Pages
In April, Facebook announced it wanted to provide more transparent and authentic interactions between users and the Pages they follow. In August, they announced a new authorization requirement for Pages, starting with administrators. This only applies to people managing pages with a “large audience in the U.S.” The process only takes a few minutes, and administrators will receive a notice at the top of their News Feeds if they need to complete the authorization process. Administrators won’t be able to post to their Pages until the authorization is complete.
The authorization asks administrators to secure their accounts with two-factor authentication and confirm their primary country location. Facebook hopes the new process makes it harder for people to manage Pages with fake or compromised accounts. The primary country location administrators provide will also show up on the Page’s public information section under “People Who Manage This Page.” Facebook will also show when a Page has merged with another Page in the Page History section.
As long as you are who you say you are, and you aren’t doing anything sketchy while managing a Facebook Page, this should be a one-time process you’ll never have to think about again.
New Tools to Manage Your Time on Facebook and Instagram
Based on feedback from the Facebook community, leading mental health experts and organizations, and academics, Facebook is now giving users the power to control the amount of time they spend on Facebook and Instagram. Users can set a specific time limit, like 25 minutes per day, and will receive an alert when they’ve reached their daily limit. The time limit can be changed, ignored, or turned off by the user at any point.
I have no idea whether or not this will affect a Page’s post reach or engagement, but it’s always good to know about changes like these on the user’s end that could potentially impact your Page’s analytics.
Did I miss any major Facebook updates? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be sure to add them to the blog (crediting your brilliant mind, of course).