Latest Facebook Changes Businesses and Marketers Should be Aware Of
Facebook is notorious for making changes. Some reactions are positive, but most people Facebook users and marketers alike do not like the changes that are made. The most recent notable changes have to do with Facebook’s messenger, a new save feature, and just announced today, no more incentivising users to like your page.
Facebook has been rolling out the new Facebook Messenger application that is the new way that users can message each other privately while on mobile devices. They are slowly removing that access through the regular Facebook application, making it necessary to download the new Facebook Messenger app if you want to private message with your Facebook friends. This is for Facebook users worldwide; and it has not gone over too well with users. One reason is that users do not want to have to download a second application for the same functionality they were receiving before with one. However, most have an even bigger problem with the invasive terms of service that must be agreed to. The permissions that must be granted with the new messenger app surmount to a horrible invasion of privacy, if they were to be abused. The app requests access to do things like view text messages, read phone numbers, and gain use of the camera, even without user knowledge. Most speculate that Facebook does not intend to abuse the security and privacy of its users; however, once these permissions are granted, there is room for abuse, especially from hackers. I personally see many friends and associates messaging others to let them know they will not be downloading the Facebook Messenger application and to not contact them that way. It remains to be seen if Facebook changes the application permissions, or even responds to the lack of engagement.
Facebook Save Feature
Facebook just launched a new “Save on Facebook” feature. When it is enabled on your account, you will see a “Save” button which will allow you to save content for later when you have time to explore it. The type of content you can save includes: links, places, movies, TV, and music. Your friends will not be able to see anything you save until you choose to share it. The feature will soon be enabled on iOS, Anroid, and web. You might be wondering how this applies to businesses and marketers. It does have an implication so you should be aware of it. If you pepper reminders about the save feature in your messaging, you can encourage your fans and followers to save your content for later. This has the possibility of giving longevity and life to your content which normally will “disappear” from most users’ main viewing field within hours or days.
No More Incentivising Likes of Pages
This week, Facebook made a significant announcement to developers regarding incentivising likes of app pages. They are giving developers until November 5th to conform to the changes. “Only incentivise a person to log into your app, like your app’s Page, enter a promotion on your app’s Page, or check-in at a place. Don’t incentivise other actions. Effective November 5th, 2014, you may no longer incentivise people to like your app’s Page.” While many brands business pages with applications on Facebook may not be happy with this, you really should think about the implications of “forcing” likes. MediaPost explains 3 reasons why these types of inflated likes were no help anyhow:
- A lot of these “likes” were just the sort of ill-begotten, meaningless clicks that came out of this silly incentivizing meme.
- Given the death of organic reach, it’s become less and less clear what those “likes” actually mean, anyway.
- Lastly, marketers who don’t do social media for a living stopped pointing to their “likes” because their social specialists told them to. “Shut up about the number of ‘likes’ we have, already! You’re embarrassing yourself!”
The moral of the story is that Facebook is about engagement and interactions. The interactions must be real and if someone was only liking a page to be entered into a contest, they probably won’t ever engage with your content again. If they are interested in still liking your page, then they have a genuine reason for liking it and will be of more value to you in the long run.