Facebook’s always testing new ideas and features to keep you on Facebook for longer, some of them major – like Facebook Stories – and others less so.
To help provide some additional context on these smaller tweaks and tests, we’re co-ordinating them into a weekly update to help keep you updated on what Facebook’s trying out, where they’re focused and what you should be watching for in future.
Facebook is aiming to provide stories in its News Feed that users not only want to see but will prompt action. The social network says the adjustment was made in response to consultations with its Feed Quality panel that concluded stories shown at the top of a feed deliver a better experience when they are ones users are "both likely to rate highly if asked and likely to engage with."
Earlier this year, Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel came under fire for reportedly saying that Snap Inc. was not focused on expanding its flagship app into India because it's "only for rich people".
Spiegel also reportedly remarked that he didn't want to "expand into poor countries like India".
Facebook has filed a patent for a new way to ascertain the digital signatures of cameras from photographs and then associate it with users within a social network. The application notes that the association of camera with users can be used “beneficially for the social networking system” for things like recommending potential connections, events, or groups to users, detecting fraudulent accounts, and even determining affinity between users.
Facebook is testing out new video options on its social network aimed at helping you better “discover, watch, and share videos” that you might find interesting. Included in the updates are the general availability of suggested videos within Facebook’s iOS app and an experiment to gauge user response to a dedicated place just for videos.
Following a period of relative quiet after the launch of their Watch platform back in August, Facebook is again ramping up its original video efforts.
After announcing a new deal to air 47 college basketball games, The Social Network is also launching a new tool to encourage more video creators to post original content, re-vamping their Mentions app into a new tool called ‘Facebook Creator’.
As part of Facebook’s mission to ‘bring the world closer together’, international expansion, and the removal of borders as boundaries, is a key element in their development. And aside from seeking to better connect communities, providing businesses with new ways to tap into international opportunities is another part of The Social Network’s expanding framework.
Along this line, earlier this year Facebook introduced a new ‘Cross Border Insights’ data tool which highlights key data points and insights on various global markets.
Facebook is working to give public school students an education that’s more tailored to their needs.
In a blog post today from Facebook’s Chief Product Officer Chris Cox, the company announced that over the past school year it has partnered with Summit Public Schools, an innovative school system in the Bay Area to improve and test their new learning technologies.
Facebook is unveiling an improved version of its Conversion Lift measurement tool, which first launched in January. Previously, Facebook allowed you to measure whether your ad campaign was actually improving online and offline sales. Now, you can also test different ads to find the best approach.
Facebook has announced that they’re merging the functionalities of Ads Manager and Power Editor into a new, integrated tool, which will be called Ads Manager.
As explained by Facebook, “Starting later this week, advertisers will begin to see an updated Ads Manager interface where they previously found Ads Manager or Power Editor. The updated Ads Manager interface is designed to feel familiar without sacrificing any capabilities advertisers enjoyed from the old Power Editor or Ads Manager.”
They were close in their last market update, and now Facebook has confirmed that they’ve surpassed their latest major milestone – 2 billion monthly active users.
And while, to some degree, this may seem like a minor announcement – Facebook, already the largest social media platform in the world, is now bigger - it’s worth taking a moment to consider the enormity of what Facebook’s community has become.
As we head towards the holiday season, Facebook has announced an update for their Dynamic Ads for Travel, which help travel brands hone their ads on the most receptive audience.
Announced last year, Dynamic Ads for Travel enable businesses to target users who’ve displayed some level of interest in their region and offerings based on searches for related terms or similar.
Facebook has released a new infographic outlining how British users change their Facebook behavior in summer.
For those unaware, summer in the UK kicks off in June, and as noted by Facebook, the change in weather has a significant influence on audience trends.
Facebook has released a new report, in conjuction with Bain and Company, which looks at how the rise of digital platforms has changed the auto industry, and the way in which consumers now research and purchase cars.
And that shift is significant - as explained by Facebook:
“The report assesses that by 2020, almost 70% of annual auto sales (about 19 million units or $40 billion) will be digitally influenced.”
News of Facebook’s death have been greatly exaggerated.
Last week, Facebook announced the ability for advertisers to target their campaigns based on a user's employer and education will be removed from the advertising platform.
The decision comes after ProPublica, an investigative reporting publication, found that advertisers could target discriminatory groups such as “Jew Haters” and “NaziParty” in their ad campaigns.
Facebook’s providing a new way for advertisers to better optimize their ad spend by automatically allocating more of their ad budget to their highest performing ads.
Called ‘Campaign Budget Optimization’, the new option is aimed at smaller businesses who need to more closely monitor their ad spend, but are also looking to run multiple ad sets.
Facebook really thinks it makes sense for you to conduct direct conversations with brands via Messenger bots - you really should do it. To help facilitate this, The Social Network released ‘Click to Messenger’ ads on Facebook last November, which enable businesses to include a button to start up a DM interaction direct from the ad post.
While bots are not the explicit focus, they are in reality - and now, Facebook's extending Click to Messenger ads to Instagram, which will re-direct users to Messenger interactions – not to Instagram’s own messaging space.
Facebook’s adding some new data for video publishers, with a listing of ‘Highlighted Shares’, displaying the top Pages that are re-sharing their videos.
The new data aims to provide publishers with extra insight into exactly how their videos are being distributed throughout The Social Network, which could help to guide decisions on future content and partnership opportunities.
Remember how, a couple of weeks back, Amazon announced that they were launching their own social and messaging apps?
You know what Facebook really hates? People stepping on their turf. Just ask Snapchat.
As such, since Amazon’s announcement, Facebook has announced a range of smaller updates which help to evolve its eCommerce potential.
Over the past few weeks, major publishers have been calling on Facebook to reverse their decision to remove the capacity to edit link previews when you post content to your Facebook Page.
As we’ve reported previously, back in April, Facebook announced a pending change to their Graph API which would remove the ability for Pages to edit link previews attached to posts – that change comes into effect this week, but the backlash has lead to Facebook providing a stay of execution, of sorts, on the feature for some Pages, with a new option that will enable publishers to maintain the capacity to edit previews.
Facebook's testing a new Custom Audiences option which would enable businesses to target ads at people who’ve visited their store, with a new ‘Store Visits’ option appearing for some advertisers.
As you can see below, the option would enable advertisers to ‘create a list of people who’ve previously visited your business location’. How, exactly, Facebook would compile this list would likely come down to matching store visitors with Location Services switched on against in store Wi-Fi signals, enabling them to estimate location.