Sep 19, 2018 | By Petah Marian
Big data meets consumer insights. Experience WGSN.
Dec 11, 2017
To say this has been a big year for Facebook would be an understatement. The social media platform has consistently rolled out updates and bought up competitors in an effort to make it indispensable to its audience. And that’s even before you take into account what it has achieved through its sister platform Instagram.
Facebook has emerged as one of the most powerful tools for marketers, taking cues from competitors in order to remain relevant for a vast and ageing audience. Want to watch a show? Go to Facebook for that. Want to read the news? Facebook has you covered. Want to send compliments? Facebook now lets you do that too through its recent acquisition of teen app TBH. It’s been such an important year for the platform that we thought we’d run through the biggest changes, recent news and more, suggesting how brands should use these updates.
The battle for video and original programming in the social space is never ending. Everyone wants to be the next Netflix, and so it was no surprise then that in the summer Facebook launched Watch a new platform for shows on Facebook, currently only available in the US. The press release said “Watch will be available on mobile, on desktop and laptop, and in our TV apps. Shows are made up of episodes — live or recorded — and follow a theme or storyline. To help you keep up with the shows you follow, Watch has a Watchlist so you never miss out on the latest episodes.” And already, news sites like mashable have suggested that Facebook could take over Youtube as the biggest video platform.
Why does this all matter? Well, if you are a hugely visual brand with a focus on video, you no longer have to set up a separate Youtube account, you can keep all your content in one place on Facebook. If you are a small brand or start-up, then this platform enables you to be able to tell the story of your brand over a series of episodes so that people get to learn about you and your brand values. The consumer consumption of video is only set to increase, as currently 500 million people watch Facebook video every day.
Slack was the 2015 Company of the year crowned by Inc. magazine and currently has more than 6 million daily users. It’s no wonder then that Facebook is looking to compete in this work chat space. Facebook Workplace debuted at the end of last year as an alternative to Slack. The added benefit of Facebook’s work chat platform, is that you can bring other Facebook features in from its wide ecosystem, live videos, news feed etc.
Why does this all matter? This platform shows how Facebook is working to build loyalty within businesses, and nurture these communities. It doesn’t have the numbers that Slack does yet, but as a tool if all of your employees use Facebook then it makes sense to have this feature. However a potential pitfall is the fact that most employees like to keep their Facebook account private and don’t really want to bring their work home with them. Most employees want a separation of a fun social browsing platform for their friends and getting messages from work, so that is a challenge.
One of Facebook’s biggest challenges is working to attract a little sister consumer, Gen Z just aren’t interested in the platform (see our video below). For the younger generation Facebook is the platform where their parents are, whereas they are flocking to Snapchat. So it was interesting to see that this year Facebook bought the app TBH. TBH is an app where you deliver compliments anonymously to fellow users, saying something that would make the recipient smile. It’s been lauded for the positive effect it has had on the mental health of young people, especially because online platforms can be quite toxic. While at the moment the app is set to keep existing separately to Facebook, the founders have become Facebook employees, and so the app might soon come more in house, and a furthering offering from Facebook.
Creative Hub launched at Cannes Lions last summer and rolled out officially at the end of last year. What is it? Well it’s a business feature that acts as a testing ground for brands. Brands can test their creative formats, from slideshows to 360 videos to see which might do better. Brand employees can share and edit the mockups before testing again on mobile screens across the Facebook News Feed and even Instagram.
Why this matters? This rollout has been a hit with creative agencies so they can see in advance what their campaigns will look like and even share with the clients.
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