Back to Basics: Everything You Need to Know About Facebook’s F8 Conference
With privacy on the mind of most consumers, Facebook announced some significant changes during their F8 conference in April 2019. Following the 2018 Cambridge Analytica investigation, Facebook made a promise to put meaningful content above all. Their first step to making good on that promise was the release of a new algorithm that prioritized content from friends, family, and groups firsts before advertisements and brands. In turn, over the past year, we have seen organic reach for company pages plummet. Facebook will be working on getting back to its original roots of being the place to connect with family and friends. We’ve pulled what we think are some of the most significant changes from Facebook’s F8 conference that will have an impact on your social media strategy.
One of the most significant changes announced at Facebook’s F8 conference is a complete redesign of the platform. The new design is not only an aesthetic change but speaks to Facebook’s goal to create meaningful connections and experiences.
Groups will now have a more prominent place over to the left-hand side of the News Feed. Along with groups having a more visible spot, there are a few other changes come with the redesign. Facebook Live Stories will be front and center. Users will see related groups suggestions and see what groups their friends have joined. Event suggestions will be location-based and will show who in your circle of friends will be attending. Also, certain groups will have key features (i.e., a health group will allow users to post and ask questions within the group anonymously). All of these changes drive Facebook users to interact with their friends and family; long gone are the days of quiet lurking.
Lead Generation Meets Messenger
Facebook announced that it would release a Messenger desktop app — currently messenger is only available on mobile. Users always could reply to messages from within the Facebook desktop experience, but with the release of the Messenger desktop app users can create video calls with up to 6 participants while 50 people can stream the video but won’t be visible in the call. Additionally, users will have the ability to limit messenger interactions to a selected group of close friends. One of the most exciting changes (at least in our opinion) is the addition of lead generation ads within messenger! Companies can use the lead gen template in Ads Manager to prompt conversations with potential customers.
Once a user clicks on the “send a message” button in the lead gen ad, they will be taken from the main Facebook app to messenger where they can connect with the company. There will also be a new booking tool within messenger, making it easier for companies like car dealerships, salons, and medical professionals to book appointments for customers.
Instagram Gets Shoppable
Facebook isn’t the only platform getting some updates; Instagram is changing how people shop online. In a new feature, users will now have a dedicated shop tab in their explore section. The shoppable explore tab will be curated for the user showing them brands they already follow and introducing them to new brands based off of their interests. Last year we saw the release of shoppable tags, allowing brands to link products in their photos. Once someone clicked on the tag, it brought them to a page with more product details where the user could purchase the product. Purchasing an item off of Instagram this way did feel cumbersome to some users as it opened a web page within Instagram. An added new feature is the release of being able to purchase directly from Instagram — no need to open a browser!
If you’re an E-commerce business who uses Shopify, you might notice these Facebook changes resemble the features already available on Shopify. The important thing is to evaluate what platforms your company already utilizes and what will bring you the most significant ROI based on your target audience. If Facebook and Instagram are the right fit, then we think these new changes don’t just open the door for people connections but are also an opportunity for brands to create meaningful connections. Whether it’s creating a Facebook group for your brand or driving sales through messenger or using Instagram to make shopping your products more accessible, these opportunities will have the potential to bring lifelong customers your way.
Marketers will have to bring their creativity when it comes to connecting with their audiences, but here at BriteIdea, we live for the opportunity to step outside the box and come up with ways to ensure your brand stands out! We believe in creating real connections in this digital space that impact the communities we live in because we genuinely give a damn. If these changes have you feeling shaky or you’re unsure if these are the right platforms for your business, shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out this form for a complimentary social media audit and consultation! We’re here to help.