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Cool Facebook Updates Sept 2018

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Despite all the controversy and concerns over privacy and election rigging, Facebook as an enterprise has continued to grow in the past months.

This has been made clear with the recent release of their Second Quarter reports for 2018, which shows that growth.

Part of the reason Facebook carries on being the juggernaut it has become is the constant updates and efforts to improve the platform.

This month we have a lot of them to go over, so let’s go ahead and dive right in.

In recent months, most of the new Facebook updates have focused on increased security for users and transparency from the Pages they’re exposed to. Facebook has since tackled a lot of the loopholes some Pages were using and found new ways to improve the platform for everyone involved.

That’s why, even if it is not strictly marketing oriented, we’ll start this edition of our updates with one of the biggest Facebook investigations (at the moment) and consequent removal of more than 650 Pages, groups and accounts on both Facebook and Instagram.

And now, here’s the list of the best Facebook Updates we selected for August 2018:

  1. Facebook Adds New Creative Tools in App’s Ads Manager
  2. Mentorship In Groups
  3. Watch Party Rolls Out to All Groups
  4. Updated Video Ad Metrics
  5. New Ad Solutions for Gaming Marketers
  6. New Look for Mobile
  7. Facebook Follows Through on App Shut Downs
  8. Workplace Focuses More On Team Building & Collaboration
  9. New Tap to React Feature in Stories
  10. Facebook Acquires VidPresso Team & Tech

Are you ready to start?

Facebook Adds New Creative Tools in App’s Ads Manager

Marketers who are frustrated with needing to edit and add creatives to images before uploading them to the ads manager (which often requires multiple tools or apps) will be thrilled to see the newest creative tools available in the ads manager app.

The ads manager mobile app now lets users edit their photos in-app, including cropping, utilizing templates, adding color filters, and slapping on new shapes, stickers, and even logos.

There’s also a really handy text overlay tool that allows you to add text to an image, and then immediately check to make sure it isn’t violating the 20% rule.

If you’re using the Ads Manager mobile app, there’s a good chance that you need to create content on-the-go and don’t want to use multiple apps to edit your images before creating campaigns.

This will speed the process up significantly and reduce the number of tools brands need to use before running their ads.

Make sure to get good use out of that text overlay too, too; that will work in your favor.

Mentorship In Groups

As someone who uses professional groups on Facebook a lot, I can attest that they’ve long been a resource to partner up mentors and mentees.

Facebook is catching on, and they’ve developed a fantastic Mentorship Program for Groups.

This program allows group admins to create mentorship programs, like “how to start a freelance writing career,” and having program steps like “make a website” and “pitch a client.”

Interested users can sign up as a mentor or a mentee, and then they are paired together. They go together through the group’s guided program, so the group is staying relevant and central to all this, but get one-on-one help from each other.

These programs can be for personal or professional development, and they’re going to be an incredible asset to groups who use them well.

They’re a fantastic community-building tool, and it keeps learning and growing within your group and makes it even more valuable.

Watch Party Rolls Out to All Groups

Watch Party is a feature that rolled out quietly and still seems to be underused as a whole.

It allows admins and moderators in a group to select any public video that is hosted on Facebook, to share it in the group, and then to host a “watch party” where everyone watches the video in synch and adds commentary in “real time.”

Watch Party is now rolling out to all Facebook Groups, and according to Tech Crunch, it’s coming with two new features for everyone.

  • Users will be able to suggest videos, which will give admins and group moderators new ideas for engaging content their audience wants to see.
  • It will be possible to have more than one co-host, allowing multiple people to add new videos to the queue and facilitate discussion.

Watch Party may be coming to Pages eventually, but this isn’t going to be happening right away and it’s still in the earlier stages of testing.

Updated Video Ad Metrics

If you run a lot of video ad campaigns, you may have already seen some of these changes, which are rolling out globally now.

Facebook is updating their current video ad metrics to better align with how users actually watch video ads on the platform, focusing more on how much total time a video is watched.

Facebook notes that these changes are made after looking at how users are watching different types of video across the platform.

These changes include:

  • Measuring unrepeated sections, which give a more accurate look at newsfeed ads (which allow you to rewind) compared to non-skippable ads (which don’t). This will also give businesses a better idea about how much of a video users actually saw.
  • How many times a video actually plays, which is different than an impression.
  • The elimination of video percentage watched and the 30-second view.

These video metrics aren’t a huge game changer, but understanding what these new metrics mean exactly and how they’re different will allow you to better track your ad data across the board.

New Ad Solutions for Gaming Marketers

If you have a game app you want to promote, or you love playing games on mobile apps, keep reading. If not, you can go ahead and skip to the next section.

Facebook has just released new ways for gaming marketers to connect with potential players.

One of the coolest (in my opinions) new options is the ability to let users test out your game in an in-app preview before they download it.

They’ll see a quick video demonstrating the game, and a “Tap to Try” prompt.”

Users will be able to play the game just long enough to be able to get hooked, and you can then send them to the app store to encourage them to download.

Whether your app is paid or costs money, getting users interested in playing before asking them to download is effective.

There’s also a new feature for retention optimization (which will roll out later this year), which will let marketers choose to optimize their ads for users who are most likely to be long-term, engaged players of the game– including those who are most likely to purchase.

When this rolls out, we’ll let you know, because being able to target the right audiences is everything, and can help you find the audience members willing to spend on in-app purchases.

New Look for Mobile

Mobile users are going to be seeing some big changes in certain parts of the interface. This includes a newly redesigned navigation bar, which will show “shortcuts” to the items that users are accessing most frequently.

Depending on the user’s personal usage of the app, this includes additions of shortcuts to their own profile, friend requests, Groups, Watch, or Marketplace. These will be joining the News Feed, Notification, and Menu icons that are already there.

This will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks if they don’t already have it.

What matters marketers the most, is that Facebook Pages are getting a new look for mobile users.

Recommendations are going to be more prominent so that mobile users (who are on the go and more likely to need these reviews urgently) will be able to access them immediately.

It’s also going to be easier for users to interact with these businesses, including booking appointments or viewing menus from the business’s Page on the mobile app.

This aligns with a new “Local” feature, which will allow users to browse local businesses in the area to see what catches their eye.

The new Page redesign is significant for businesses.

Make sure that your CTAs are optimized to send users to tools that can put them in touch with you quickly.

You should also make an effort to collect more reviews if you don’t have a lot of them now that they’re more prominently displayed, especially since they can give you an edge in the “Local” listings.

Facebook Follows Through on App Shut Downs

This past May, Facebook mandated that all apps undergo an app review process by August 1st. Well, August 1st has passed, and Facebook actually held up their end of the bargain.

All apps that weren’t submitted for the review process have had their access removed.

This was done in an effort to increase transparency, and to make sure that the apps that had access to user data weren’t using it in any way that violated Facebook’s terms of service.

If you haven’t submitted your app for review, it’s not too late to do so; do it now.

The removal hasn’t affected apps that are still in the queue to be removed and filed their status before the August 1st deadline.

It’s also worth noting that Facebook has restricted third-party scheduling of posts to personal profiles.

This is only for personal profiles, however; you can still use third-party scheduling apps like Hootsuite to post to business Pages.

Workplace Focuses More On Team Building & Collaboration

I always joked that one day Disney was going to rule the world, but maybe it’ll be Facebook instead, at least when it comes to the communication world.

Facebook’s Workplace has made a lot of changes in the past month, releasing new features that are focused on team building, collaboration, and personalization all at once.

Team members can have individual profiles on Workplace, which will contain work anniversaries, birthdays, and personal details that are approved by the admin, allowing team members to get to know each other a little better.

There’s also a new one-click connection that allows team members to quickly chat with each other, made even easier with the new directory search feature to find anyone in the team that you need to.

Workplace also recently acquired Redkix, which is a Slack-competitor email startup that combined calendar, messaging, and email all into a single app.

Long-term, we might see Workplace try to replace Slack as a business’s communication hubs.

New Tap to React Feature in Stories

Facebook Stories is testing a new sticker type, which will allow users to “tap to react” when viewing them.

This is another way to increase engagement on Stories, which can give you a better gauge of how users are perceiving and viewing your content.

Engagement rates, after all, are better than simple views, because you know that users aren’t just happening to see the Story but actually paying attention.

We’ll let you know more details when this one rolls out for everybody.

Facebook Acquires VidPresso Team & Tech

Vidpresso was a social video company containing 7 people and technology that makes live videos more interactive on multiple platforms, and Facebook recently acquired the team and the people (but not the actual company).

The last lines of Vidpresso’s announcement shed some light on Facebook’s intentions.

Facebook Live is already a staple for many businesses, so having more interactivity potential will be a major development that could make it easier for brands to go live more often and increase viewer retention rates while doing so.

This acquisition could give Facebook the edge it needs to offer the most compelling live video platform, with increased interactivity like on-screen polling, graphics, and more.

We’ll see.

Conclusion

If your head is reeling from this list, don’t worry– it’ll be here if you need to come back and check it!

It’s a long list, and each one of these updates can affect businesses and brands in some way, even if it’s small.

Take note of any changes that you need to make immediately (like checking how your business Pages look on mobile), and prioritize those to tackle them first if changes are needed.

What do you think? Which of these new updates are you most excited about? 

What do you want to see on Facebook next? Share your thoughts and questions in the comments below! 

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