In 2004, about twelve years ago, Facebook was created. The mission of Facebook is to give people the power to share, and make the world more open and connected. It’s a way to discover what is going on in the world, as well as what is going on in your world. Today, with 1.04 billion daily active user, Facebook is the largest online social network (Facebook Newsroom).
If you were to guess how long Facebook has been advertising, what would be your answer? My guess would be a few years, but I was wrong! Facebook started allowing advertisements to certain companies in its founding year of 2004 in New York (Social Times). Facebook understands that business owners can not only sell products in store, but today purchasing online and through the apps-medium is much more common. Facebook now has more than two million active advertisers and 934 million mobile daily active users on average. Through this intermediary, Facebook helps connect businesses with the people that use their platform (Facebook for Business).
As the largest online social network, Facebook is always updating its features to satisfy its giant user base. A few months into 2016, Facebook has already come up with several new functionalities.
Facebook Trends in 2016
1. Reactions Feature
Have you seen the latest Facebook feature reactions yet? If not, you better check this cool feature, an extension of the like button. The reactions include six in total: like, love, haha, wow, sad and angry. When users are scrolling through their newsfeed and come across something they enjoy, they can simply tap the like button to give feedback and affirmation. But sometimes, news that is shared and that comes across our newsfeed is not positive or happy, and simply pressing the like button would not be appropriate or sufficient. Instead, there are situations when we want to express our empathy, elation or surprise. This is where the new reactions feature has been so popular. With the above six reactions mentioned, this new feature allows users to express their emotions by tapping any one of the reactions to respond to items in their newsfeed (Facebook Design).
From a marketing perspective, users are now able to go beyond the like and express their true feelings with the help of these reactions towards a company's post. Marketers can exchange emotions through reactions, and get feedback from users who are regular and potential customers.
2. Live Broadcast
From a recent Q & A in Berlin, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook Live is now available on android and in more than 30 countries. Through Facebook Live, users are able to broadcast experiences and perspectives in real time video and connect with fans, friends, families and followers. Facebook originally released this feature last year in August, available only to public figures, but now available to all verified facebook pages. According to Facebook Newsroom, people watch a live video more than three times longer compared to when it is pre-recorded.
To upload a live broadcast, simply tap on “What’s on your mind” from a mobile device and select live broadcast on the bottom right. You can write a description of your live video, select the audience that can view this video and select the Go Live icon. When your video is live, you will be able to see who is viewing your videos and be able to respond to comments in real time. Once, you have finished your live video, it will be saved to your timeline with the rest of your videos (Social Media Examiner).
3. Facebook Ads
With more than 1.04 billion daily users, advertising on Facebook can help reach the target audience and achieve business goals. Through a Facebook ad, users will be able to have direct access to a company’s website link, download the business app directly, add an item to shopping cart or several other calls to action (Facebook Newsroom). Facebook has the following list of different campaign objectives businesses can choose from:
- Clicks to Website
- Website Conversions
- Page Post Engagement
- Page Links
- App Installs
- App Engagement
- Local Awareness
- Event Responses
- Offer Claims
- Video Views
- Lead Generation
4. Instant Articles
On April 12 2016, Facebook is finally introducing Instant Articles to all publishers, as they were previously open to only big-name publishers. We all have come across that interesting piece of news or article on our news feed we want to read, but that decision changes quickly when it takes ages to load. Facebook will be loading instant articles now instead of loading in a web browser, which usually takes more than 10 seconds. The article will open instantly in the app itself. Not only that, the videos in the article are auto played and the image can be enlarged and reduced according to the user. In terms of publishing articles, any publisher will be able to share their article with the entire world on Facebook. Publishers will be in control and have the ability to sell ads in their articles, or by directly linking users to their websites. This can be a great medium for businesses to interact with their customers (Instant Article).
With Facebook being the top social media with the most users, for many businesses, it is the best platform to reach a wide demographic. Utilizing all the new features that Facebook has released will help offer a leg up to businesses pushing digital marketing boundaries.
Interested in other social media trends? Check out the Top 4 Instagram Trends for 2016