This week, developers met in San Francisco for Facebook’s annual F8 Developer Conference. Here’s what to keep an eye out for 2015!
Facebook’s unveiling spherical video in its News Feed. CEO Mark Zuckerberg says that this experience will eventually encompass live broadcasts as well. This move follows YouTube’s 360-degrees videos and Meerkat, the livestreaming app, as these capabilities seem to be the latest trends in videos.
So what does this mean for marketers? Brands will now have the ability to show a 360-degree point of view on products, events, and tours to make video consumption that much more engaging on social platforms. Multimedia continues to provide the biggest return on engagement, and brands should look forward to including these types of interactions in their marketing campaigns.
Facebook is expanding on their Messenger Platform, which will allow its users to create and post content with third-party tools to help enrich communication on the platform. Users of Messenger will now be able to make content such as GIFs and effects-laden videos to instantly share with friends. “By creating more vivid ways to share, Messenger could differentiate itself from… competing messaging apps” says Tech Crunch. Also in the works is that Facebook is collaborating with selected partners for business chats, where users can speak directly with brands as well as modify, track or return orders, all within Messenger. Users can also set up confirmation and shipping notices through the platform, where businesses will be able to push notifications through Messenger.
Why is this important? This means that businesses that offer customer support will have the opportunity to provide a more streamline method of addressing user issues and can provide insights into what consumers are buying and what brands they are engaging with to better target ads, further building one-to-one interactions with consumers, which helps build loyalty and advocacy for brands that do this the right way.
Facebook is launching a new real-time Comment Plugin, which will sync live conversations between websites and Facebook pages. Some of you may remember the older commenting social plugin, but this revamp will let visitors see user comments both on brand sites and on links shared through the platform, a missing feature in previous versions.
Why is this important? With social communications being a two way street, brands will have the ability to showcase their customer service chops, with a more transparent view of synced comments, making conversations with brands even easier. However, brands and marketers may have to extend their communication guidelines in order to support the potential influx of communications coming their way. The benefit is still huge, as this will help marketers monitor conversations and replies that show up on both platforms, helping to streamline communication processes, as well as help increase engagement on their channels.
A potential shift in content direction, Facebook now allows users to embed their Facebook videos onto other sites. This seems a little behind, as YouTube and Twitter allowed the embedding of their content a few years back, but this addition helps solidify that video continues to be a big deal.
Why is this important? Arguably, this could be a move from Facebook to continue making strides in creating a “content hub” for users, so they never want to leave the social network. Boosting their focus on native videos (and their new video ad serving capability), Facebook may be angling their native videos on its platform to compete with YouTube (the second most popular search engine behind Google itself—which also happens to own YouTube), so that FB users can curate their own videos on the social network, may also begin to build a searchable inventory for users to browse videos from, similar to YouTube. This ultimately may lead to more advertising options for video beyond YouTube or other competitors.
Speaking of ads, Facebook is expanding LiveRail to help publishers optimize an assortment of mobile ads within the platform and improves its targeting capabilities. (Read as, Mobile is where the internet is going—so make sure it’s a part of your marketing campaigns!) Some new capabilities help refine targeting, which will include: prioritizing buyers, blocking specific ad categories, real-time reports, and suggestions for optimal inventory pricing.
Why it’s important? Better targeting = better returns on your ad spend.
Lastly, Facebook launches Analytics for apps. It’s a tool to help marketers who want better target campaigns based on accumulated data. The tool will give users a web dashboard to see how apps are performing in engagement and conversion rates.
Remember, this is just Day 1 of #F82015! We’ll see what Day 2 brings…