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A Recap of Facebook's F8 2019

May 3, 2019

On April 30, 2019, Facebook held its F8 developer’s conference where they shared what’s up and coming for the social media giant. As anyone on the internet knows, it’s been a rough year for the Facebook family of apps. A steady stream of privacy scandals, algorithm changes, and security issues have dominated the landscape for Facebook, and they made sure to hone in on their privacy initiatives throughout the presentation, touting more than once that “the future is private.”

If you didn’t have time to watch the conference, KSA&D’s social media gurus have you covered!

Here is our list of the top things you need to know about changes coming to Facebook and what they mean for you and your digital marketing strategy.

Facebook

First and foremost, Facebook is getting a facelift (see what we did there). The platform redesign has rolled out on mobile and is coming to desktop over the next few months. The biggest thing to note about the redesign, beside the fresh, clean look, is that the newly designed platform will focus more heavily on groups and personal messages than your newsfeed. We’ve heard rumblings that Facebook would be going this way, prioritizing more private messages, small group conversations, and events over more prominently public-facing content, but now we’re seeing it in action.

So, what does this mean for your business?

It will be more important than ever to focus on content marketing in a way that is authentic and that means something to the audience. Throwing out a promotional photo with “buy now!” copy just isn’t going to cut it anymore. Let’s face it, it wasn’t cutting it to begin with. The key in this new era of private, group focused Facebook is to ensure that your brand is delivering content that your audience is going to get something out of. They want to know what’s in it for them.

Instagram

Instagram may also be shaking things up, with news that the platform will be beta testing an experience that does not show like counts on your posts. Before any digital marketers freak out, you’ll still be able to get your analytics through your Instagram Business account. Likes won’t be public facing anymore in a pivot aimed at making the platform more authentic. Instagram’s camera is also going to be getting an update. New features include additional stickers, including a donate button, and create mode. Instagram has also added in platform shopping, which is huge news for marketers looking to reach an Instagram specific audience.

For businesses, these changes offer up a wealth of opportunity to create more authentic engagement. They also get your products out in front of audiences you may be missing on Facebook.

Messenger & WhatsApp

As far as Messenger goes, there are big things ahead including a new desktop application for Mac and PC rolling out later this year. The updates will also include end to end encryption, as Facebook’s family of brands continue to focus in on user privacy.

For businesses, Messenger is a space to watch for ad placements as the focus shifts from public newsfeeds to private messaging. Do you have your Messenger placements on when running your ads? If not, it may be time to start!

Facebook Portal will also see some Messenger and WhatsApp additions as Portal goes global later this year. Portal will also feature end to end encryption on Messenger and WhatsApp calls through the device.

Facebook Opt-Ins

Facebook is taking Facebook Dating one step further with the introduction of the “Secret Crush” opt-in. While we’re still not sure how this is going to play out for real users, the idea is simple. Like other dating apps, opted in users are able to select “secret crushes” from others who have opted in. When two people select each other, they’re prompted to start up a conversation. The difference from Facebook’s competitors is that “Secret Crush” will be totally private. Meaning, no one will be able to see who you’ve selected once you opt-in and only opt in’s are able to interact and it won’t be attached to your public social media profile. The opinions on Facebook Dating are many in the wake of the privacy issues the platform has faced. We’re eager to see how users will respond to this new addition.

Facebook also introduced “Meet New Friends,” in another push for authentic interaction on the platform. This new feature will show you people you may know based on common groups, interests, or demographics like schools or places of work. This update has an early Facebook appeal and has us wondering if it will be similar to the “people you may know” section that almost everyone ignores, or if “Meet New Friends” will bring something new to the table.

Other Additions

If you have a sharp eye, you may have already seen Facebook’s “Watch Party” button appear. “Watch Party,” announced last year, has crept onto our newsfeeds in recent weeks in an update that allows users to invite their friends to watch a video with them on the platform.

Facebook Marketplace will also get an update in which Facebook will support shipping in the US. We can’t say we’re surprised by this addition, as Facebook has steadily crept into the shopping space over the last few years. Offering up shipping support will be a game changer for Facebook, though, as they move into territory occupied by Amazon, eBay, and Etsy.

Finally, VR fans have something to celebrate as Facebook announced not one but two new Oculus devices! The Oculus Rift S and it’s wireless counterpart the Oculus Quest will be shipping on May 21.

We want to hear from you! What are you looking forward to coming out of F8? Follow us on social and share your thoughts!

Interested in working with KSA&D on your social media marketing? Contact us today!