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Top Facebook Updates That You Can’t Afford to Miss – November 2017 Edition

Hello fellow marketers, and welcome back to our appointment with the best Facebook updates of the month!

As we are swiftly approaching winter and marketers are filled with excitement for this upcoming advertising season (yes, we mean Black Friday and Christmas sales, of course), it’s important to catch up with what has been released and learn how to use the updates to maximize your efforts!

We know how hard it is to find some time to read all the latest news and stay constantly up-to-date when you have to create and run Facebook Ads campaigns!

We selected the top new features you can start using now and some that are still in the test phase. You only have to click the read more button!

What’s going on at Menlo Park? Let’s start with some words from David Wehner, CFO at Facebook:

In Q3, the average price per ad increased 35% and the number of ad impressions served increased 10%, driven primarily by feed ads on Facebook and Instagram. I would note that, compared to a year ago, the price is a much more important driver of our ads revenue growth.”

What does this mean for us? Be patient, we’ll go back on that!

Here we go with the list of the most important updates for this month!

  1. Facebook reports Third Quarter 2017 results
  2. Update of Advertising Transparency and Authenticity Efforts
  3. New features for groups and pages to build communities
  4. Verify domains in Business Manager
  5. Facebook officially launches mobile app, educational site for video creators
  6. Facebook adds new tools to make it easier for advertisers to reach people internationally
  7. Facebook refunds advertisers for mobile video ads played out of view

Let’s have a closer look together!

Facebook reports Third Quarter 2017 results

Facebook Q3 results are out and while there’s the usual rise for all figures let’s dig into the advertiser specifics:

The trend looks to be that the number of ads served will increase as they will attract more users and a higher amount of time on site but the main driver of revenue will be higher ad prices, compensated for by more sophisticated ad delivery.

If you want to dig into details, Financials are here and the Call transcript is here.

What does this mean for advertisers? Well firstly products like Instagram stories has nearly double the number of users of Snapchat and that’s not even a core product for Instagram and Facebook.

Advertisers have to be on Facebook + Instagram, they are attracting more daily users than ever before and they’re spending longer time on site. Just looking at the higher ad prices and going elsewhere isn’t an option.

On the other hand, Facebook advertising is getting more complex and advertisers are going to have to be at the top of their gamer if ad prices have risen 35% in a year.

Advertisers are going to need every trick they’ve got to stay ahead of the game (and that means a bright future for AdEspresso), the native Facebook ad platform is now too complex for the average user.

Also gone are the days when prices were so cheap you’d just get the office junior to knock up a few ads, now you need tracking, reporting and benchmarking to ensure you get good value for money.

Our community continues to grow and our business is doing well.
But none of that matters if our services are used in ways that don’t bring people closer together. We’re serious about preventing abuse on our platforms. We’re investing so much on security that it will impact our profitability. Protecting our community is more important than maximizing our profits.” – Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder, and CEO.

Update of Advertising Transparency and Authenticity Efforts

If you are up to date with the recent happenings (and I’m sure you are!), you probably know that Facebook is currently at work in order to improve its advertising transparency.

Users, not too surprisingly, complained about certain ads’ clarity, especially political ones and the ones involving branded contents.

Transparency helps everyone, especially political watchdog groups and reporters, keep advertisers accountable for who they say they are and what they say to different groups.”
– Rob Goldman, VP of Ads at Facebook.

So, what are these improvements? Well, starting next month, people will be able to click “View Ads” on a Page, which probably will be added as a new tab, and view all the ads a Page is running on Facebook, Instagram and Messenger — whether or not the person viewing is in the intended target audience for the ad.

It will be a great value for sure, though some advertisers are a little bit concerned by this.
As far as I could understand, anyway, it seems that people will be able to decide in their page settings whether they wish to add the tab or not.
The test will start in Canada and will be extended to the US by this summer, only displaying the active and running ads for the moment.

What info will be shared about an ad?

Also, the Right-Hand Column type of campaign (not the placement) has been deprecated! Why? It was the only ad type that didn’t require a page in order to be published, therefore could cause misunderstandings and blur the ad’s clarity.

New features for groups to build communities

Groups are certainly becoming one of the main cores of the whole Facebook platform. Facebook is actively empowering them, giving to the admins more and more features and functionalities

One important thing is that groups are becoming like “little communities”, where all the members get to know each other, share opinions and find common interests. This is why welcome posts and polls are now available.

Group admins have now the possibility to warmly welcome all the new community members, automatically tagging them, and to create polls inside their groups in order to better understand members habits:

Also, badges are available for group admins, moderators, and new members, so that everyone can easily understand group roles!

Last but not least, new controls are now available for admins: we know the struggle of managing a growing community! Insights (also customized) about scheduling posts and which is the best hours to post in order to get more engagement will be really precious for group leaders:

We’re already testing these features for our groups and they are totally awesome!

Also, polls are now available for Pages as well! The feature is similar to Instagram Stories polls, so it is limited to two possible answers.

This is a great value for pages’ admins, as it allows them to collect precious feedback from their users, as well as have more engagement, without asking them to do anything more than tap a button. In the future, probably, polls will also offer new insights about users and their interests!

Verify domains in Business Manager

Businesses can verify their online domains to claim ownership of their content. This is also very important, as it perfectly integrates with Facebook’s active efforts to update advertising transparency.

Domain verification in Business Manager provides an easy way for businesses to verify their domains without the need to edit Open Graph markup tags on their websites.

Domain verification supports the protection and integrity of your content to ensure it isn’t being misrepresented (or also stolen).

Domains will be added to your Business Manager as an asset, providing you with additive security to your content. You can also assign your Pages in Business Manager to their respective verified domains as well as share those domains with your trusted partners and coworkers.

Facebook officially launches mobile app, educational site for video creators

Facebook is launching its own app for video creators to directly manage their channels from the platform.

The iOS version is rolling out globally this week to all Pages and individual accounts, though the Android version won’t be available until sometime “in the coming months”.

Facebook’s Creators app is designed to make it easier for creators to manage their video channels on Facebook and therefore more likely that creators will upload videos to the social network since, as we already know, FB looks to grow its video ad revenue.

Creators can use the Facebook Creators app to up the production quality of their live videos, manage comments and messages from viewers, post Stories across Facebook and Instagram at the same time and analyze their videos’ performances.

The Facebook Creators app contains a live creative kit so that creators can add intros, outros and graphic frames to make their Facebook Live broadcasts look more official; the kit also includes custom stickers that viewers can interact with while watching the stream.

All messages received via Facebook, Instagram and Messenger will be stored in a community tab, allowing the admins to review and respond in one place instead of three. Creators can use the app’s in-app camera to create photos and videos using Facebook’s Snapchat-esque augmented-reality filters and frames, and post them to their Facebook Stories.

And, finally, an insights tab will display analytics for the creators’ Pages, videos and their audiences!

Facebook adds new tools to make it easier for advertisers to reach people internationally

Four new tools are now available for brands to find and target people around the world!

The four new features span an option to streamline campaigns aimed at audiences that speak different languages to tools that can be used to find audiences that may be in many different places.

While Facebook’s new features are aimed at helping brands boost their businesses internationally, their aim is also to help Facebook’s international business, of course. While 88 percent of Facebook’s monthly audience is outside of the US and Canada, roughly half of its ad revenue – 48% – comes from ads targeted to people in the US and Canada! To close that gap, Facebook needs to help advertisers bridge their campaigns elsewhere:

Facebook refunds advertisers for mobile video ads played out of view

You may have noticed something “weird” in your Ad Account these last days, and also pleasant at the same time! Facebook is refunding some advertisers as, due to some errors in the Android app, videos (including ads) have been played while out of view. The company has informed the affected advertisers that they will be issued credits as reimbursement for the incorrect charges. A Facebook spokesperson confirmed the errors and refunds on Monday.

The first error affected videos loaded on Facebook’s mobile site.

When someone is on Facebook mobile, videos are supposed to stop playing when that person scrolls out of view. But some videos, including ads, continued to play in the background after a person scrolled past them or switched to another tab in their device’s browser.

The second error affected videos embedded within Instant Articles.

For people viewing Instant Articles through Facebook’s Android app while on a slow internet connection, editorial videos and video ads included in the article may take longer to load, leading a person to scroll past it before the video loads. When that happens, Facebook’s app is supposed to load the video in the background but not play it until a person scrolls it back in view. However, the error affected videos that took longer than one second to load, causing them to play once loaded even if they were no longer in view.

Even if Facebook said these errors affected only a few advertisers, I think these refunds are a great proof of Facebook trustworthiness and efforts, and it’s a very appreciated operation for sure!

Well, that’s all! Let’s review these latest updates together:

  1. Facebook reports Third Quarter 2017 results
  2. Update of Advertising Transparency and Authenticity Efforts
  3. New features for groups and pages to build communities
  4. Verify domains in Business Manager
  5. Facebook officially launches mobile app, educational site for video creators
  6. Facebook adds new tools to make it easier for advertisers to reach people internationally
  7. Facebook refunds advertisers for mobile video ads played out of view

Did you miss any update this year? Just keep on reading then, we have 11 months covered!


Top Facebook Updates – October 2017 Edition

Are you ready to discover the 7 Facebook updates you need to know about in October 2017? Keep on reading then, here’s the whole menu:

  1. Facebook is offering more ways to drive Offline Outcomes
  2. Facebook just added Messages Objective for Facebook Ads
  3. Facebook now offers the possibility to customize the Thank you Screen of your lead forms
  4. Facebook rolled out new and improved Canvas Templates
  5. Facebook is testing new Custom Audience options to improve your targeting: dwell time and link sharing
  6. Facebook now offers the possibility to create custom audiences based on users who engaged with your events
  7. Facebook just released Fundraisers

Interesting uh? Let’s dig deeper!

Facebook Update #1: More Ways To Drive Offline Outcomes

Good news! The first Facebook update on our list improves tracking and targeting! Facebook targeting and tracking are getting better and better: people-based measurements, in combination with the pixel and the possibility to create lots of different types of custom audiences, are offering advertisers a whole set of detailed information and insights about audiences and their actions.

However, marketers who consider the online presence as a fundamental element of their business, are also aware of the importance of measuring the impact of their campaigns on offline purchases, including in-store sales and phone bookings.

Reach Customers Who Purchased Offline

Advertisers can now create custom audiences from their offline conversion events sets including people who have previously purchased offline. Dynamically re-engaging with customers based on their “offline” actions is really important and will give you a range of new possibilities and more detailed (and, especially, more complete!) insights about your campaigns!

Reach Customers Who Visited Your Store

As we mentioned, the only online presence is not enough sometimes, and this is why driving “foot” traffic to store locations remains a priority in most cases.

Store visits objective has an important role here, it can be used and refined in combination with people enabling geolocation services on their devices.

The creation of custom and lookalike audiences will be available for this type of action as well, this means that advertisers will be able to create more relevant contents for their audience!

What can I do to help advertisers and to improve the quality and relevance of the ads I see on Facebook? Use your “Ads Preferences” section!

If you feel like reading some more, here’s what Facebook says about Offline actions tracking

Facebook Update #2: Message Objectives for Facebook Ads

If you wish to directly open conversations with your customers, Facebook just rolled out the new Messages objective.

This new feature will be perfect, especially if used in combination with click to Messenger ads, to generate leads, offer support, answer questions and drive transactions!

Ads will be optimized for “replies”, therefore delivered to people who are more likely to start a conversation with you!

Facebook Update #3: Customize Your Thank You Screen

We all know how powerful lead ads can be for your business, and Facebook knows this as well, in fact it’s rolling out some improvements we’re really thrilled to try out!

Not being able to customize the Thank you screen of your form, certainly was a (minor) pain, plus, it probably led your customers -or potential customers- to think that visiting your website after submitting the form was not so important. Or not knowing at all that the item could have been downloaded directly without waiting for a confirmation email! Also, the use of a CRM was basically requested in order to deliver the content.

From now on, instead, you will be able to customize your Thank you screen with a headline, a description and a button (view website/download) and this sounds really great!

Let’s see the two options below:

  1. View Website button
  2. Download button

For the moment, there’s no big difference between the two buttons, since they both require a URL. This means that, even with the “Download” one, the user is redirected to your website in order to download the content.

Anyway, I still consider this as a big improvement that will help marketers during their journey!

Facebook Update #4: New And Improved Canvas Templates

Since mobile has become the first feed in terms of usage, Facebook is always encouraging advertisers to create awesome contents to address to their audiences. And Canvas is the perfect feature to tell stories.

This is why they are striving to improve Canvas, as it offers the possibility to create an immersive experience using collection ads, aiming to guide customers through the discovery of new products, especially using lifestyle images+tags.

People and places are a great context in which you can insert your product, in order to create a stronger and more meaningful branded experience.

Templates will simplify the ad creation process, always aiming to three main objectives:

  1. Acquiring new customers
  2. Showcasing a business
  3. Selling products

Facebook Update #5: New Custom Audience Options

This Facebook update is still not available to everyone as it’s still in the beta stage, but soon you will be able to have two more Engagement Custom audience options!

  1. Dwell time: this custom audience type will allow you to retarget users who have spent time on your ads (both on Facebook and Instagram) without taking any actions.
    This function would be of great help for advertiser, since it can provide you with more retargeting possibilities: e.g. let’s suppose a user spends few seconds on your ad and then scrolls down the feed, this could mean that this user needs more info on your business or your product, and you will be able to provide the user with more accurate and customized retargeting ads!
  2. Link sharing: differently from the dwell time option, this feature will allow you to re-engage with people who took a real action on your ads (specifically, they shared it).
    Sharing is one really powerful action, as we generally share contents that we truly appreciate, trust, enjoy, in order to let our friends know and discover the same contents.

Curb your enthusiasm tho 🙁 This feature would be super awesome but Facebook is not rolling out it anytime soon. It was worth mentioning this anyway, or not?

Facebook Update #6: Event Interaction Custom Audiences

What we are understanding so far is that Facebook is really empowering engagement custom audiences, so maybe we’re not wrong if we suppose they will be rolling out the link sharing and dwell time options ASAP.

Instead, event interaction custom audiences are a real thing and they are awesome!

What was difficult to measure, when we’re referring to event promotion campaigns, was the real impact of our adverts: will people attend? Will my event be empty?

We all know (and we all did this at least once!) that people tend to respond to a Facebook event even if they’re not sure they will be attending it or not. Being able to retarget these people with more relevant and attractive contents may definitely increase the chance of users recalling you and your event!

You are now able to choose from different options, based on the users’ actions on your event, let’s see them!

Facebook Update #7: Fundraisers

Facebook is a great platform which offers a lot of opportunities, especially aiming to connect people. We also know how much Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan care about charity and charitable causes.

Fundraisers gives you the possibility to help supporting the causes you care about, connecting with charitable organizations all over the world!

On your Facebook, Fundraisers can be found here, while this page is dedicated to all its features and how to use it in the best way.

On the same page, you can also find all the categories that you can support:

Facebook October Updates: A Quick Summary

That’s all, folks. Just to wrap it up, here’s a quick recap of this month’s Facebook updates:

  1. Facebook update #1: more ways to drive offline outcomes
  2. Facebook update #2: message objectives for Facebook Ads
  3. Facebook update #3: customize the thank you screen of your lead forms
  4. Facebook update #4: new and improved canvas templates
  5. Facebook update #5: new Custom Audience options dwell time and link sharing -coming soon-
  6. Facebook update #6: create custom audiences based on users who engaged with your events
  7. Facebook update #7: make the world a better place with Fundraisers

In case you missed the previous Facebook updates, just scroll down to catch up!


Top Facebook Updates – September 2017 Edition

 

This month we have all great examples of how Facebook is working to become the one-stop for users to get everything they need. Here’s September menu:

  1. Facebook is retiring rarely used boosted post types
  2. New controls and capabilities for branded content marketers
  3. Updates to in-stream video placements
  4. Facebook is rolling out rounded page profile pictures
  5. Facebook is testing putting Instagram stories on its platform
  6. Facebook is testing a new chat feature in WhatsApp
  7. Facebook has launched a new open ecosystem for AI Frameworks
  8. Facebook has updated Ads Manager
  9. Facebook is helping friends build stronger connections
  10. Facebook is compensating for the recent flood of misleading content

Without further ado, let’s examine one by one these 10 Facebook updates for September 2017.

1. Facebook is retiring rarely used boosted post types

Boosting Facebook posts is a quick and simple way for you to get lots of exposure for your content. When you post something on your Facebook page, you’ll see the blue button that appears at the bottom of the post. When you click it, you have the option to promote the post to specific users.

[Source]

To help you meet your advertising goals and get users engaged, Facebook has refined the type of posts you can boost. This means, boost types that are rarely used or don’t result in much response from users will be removed.

These are the types of boosts Facebook is removing:

If you’re using any of these types right now, you have until September 29 to update to a different type.

2. New controls and capabilities for branded content marketers

By partnering with trusted influencers and content creators, you, as an advertiser or marketer have more options to get your product in front of your target audience. To enhance the current features that help you connect with influencers, Facebook has introduced two new features.

Boost posts by creators other than you

You don’t have to post content from other creators anymore, in order to boost and share it with your audience. Now you can do it directly. When creators you’ve partnered with create content and click on “Allow business partner to boost post,” they give you permission to boost the post directly. Your audience sees where it came from but also see that you boosted it.

[Source]

Control where you appear in branded content tags

As a marketer, now you can control where creators you partner with tag you. In the branded content view of your Page Insights, Facebook has added more information to make it easier to:

Combined, these new updates give you more insights into how well promotion is going and what you can do to improve your outreach.

3. Updates to in-stream video placements

Video ads are a great way for you to grab the attention of people already watching videos on Facebook. These short clips are highly targeted so you can be sure that the right people see your ad at the right time.

In the past, these clips appeared in News Feed or in-stream during videos. Now, Facebook has given advertisers more control over where these ads appear. This means you can use in-stream placements in videos on Facebook, on Audience Network or in both.
[Source]

This lets you target ads on Facebook even more and get exposure since publishers creating video content already target their videos to specific groups. With in-stream video ads on Audience Network, your ads can be placed pre-roll and mid-roll on specific apps and websites.

When you’re clear on who your target audience is, in-stream video ads have the power boost engagement. Facebook points out that 70% of in-stream videos on Facebook and Audience Network are watched from start to finish. This added control means that more than ever before, you can manage how customers experience your ads.

4. Facebook is rolling out rounded page profile pictures

Facebook started rolling out rounded profile pics in August, but the update is now more widespread. The reason for the change? Facebook wants to make page profiles look more engaging.

You can see the new update in your News Feed and on page Timelines. User and page profile pictures — the thumbnails — there are now round instead of square. The large profile picture on the page cover will still be square.
 [Source]

A comment from Facebook about the change reads, “We’re always working to make Facebook a more engaging place, and we hope this change leads to more conversations with the people you want to reach. We’ve been testing design updates in News Feed and have seen encouraging results and feedback from this design update.”

To make your brand stand out using this update, choose bright, lively colors like yellow or red. They catch customer attention and give your product an energetic and exciting feel. To highlight your loyalty to clients and the trust they can have in you, choose blue hues. If you’re using an image, crop it as closely as possible so that it’s clear and easy to recognize.

5. Facebook is testing putting Instagram stories on its platform

You might recall that not too long ago Facebook launched its version of Stories on its desktop platform. Users can make slideshows with pictures and video to share with friends before the Stories disappear a day later.

As users continue to try out that feature, Facebook is testing a new enhancement that incorporates Stories from Instagram. The latest version lets users post stories on Instagram and Facebook.

[Source]

Remember, Facebook bought Instagram in 2012, so that’s why this move makes sense. By letting Instagram’s 250 million daily active users post on both platforms, Facebook is ensuring maximum content exposure.

While they test this feature, only a small group of users have access to it for now.

6. Facebook is testing a new chat feature in WhatsApp

Facebook bought WhatsApp back in 2014 and just started testing a new feature that will let businesses talk directly with customers through the messaging app.

[Source]

Right now, businesses that have been reviewed and approved to use the service show a green check mark next to their name.

Even though the messaging service is free to use right now, Chief Operating Officer Matt Idema explains that “We do intend on charging businesses in the future.” Facebook is looking at its global competitors and using them as a starting point for how to deliver better-messaging features to users. Introducing ads is just one way they’re exploring to drive growth.

The goal is to make both of their messaging apps, WhatsApp and Messenger, avenues to grow sales. This means more opportunities for advertisers to show ads to a larger pool of customers. Ads are already visible on Messenger so adding them to WhatsApp means more opportunities for businesses to grow using Facebook’s suite of products.

7. Facebook has launched a new open ecosystem for AI Frameworks

Facebook has partnered with Microsoft to launch a new Open Neural Network Exchange (ONNX) format. With so many AI framework tools available, this initiative is meant to make it easier for developers to choose and combine tools that work best for their projects.

When developers, engineers, and researchers start a project, they have to choose a framework — or toolkit — to work with. It’s usually one that lets them build based on that phase of the project. However, there isn’t an easy way to transfer information from one framework to another as the project progresses and their needs change.

It’s kind of like building a house. Using a hammer and nails are helpful when you’re framing the house but not so great when you have to paint it. You need new tools for the next phase of the build. ONNX bridges that gap and makes working with different frameworks — at different points in a project — easier.

[Source]

A few frameworks, like Caffe2, PyTorch, and Cognitive Toolkit, already support and integrate with ONNX.

The idea is that going forward, innovation and deployment will happen faster without the headache of being stuck using one framework indefinitely.

8. Facebook has updated Ads Manager

Facebook has updated Ads Manager to help marketers create and manage ads better. To do that, they’ve combined Power Editor with Ads Manager.

There’s now a new workflow that lets you create a draft campaign of your ad before adding in ad sets and ads. It gives you more control over your creative process because now you don’t have to follow a particular workflow anymore.

Also added is the ability to review and confirm every change you make in your ads. This ensures that the final ad you post meets your expectations without anything extra added or removed.

Finally, you’ll notice that the charts and activity history from Power Editor have been integrated with Ads Manager. It’s now a one-stop shop for all of your ad needs; there isn’t any necessity to jump between multiple platforms to get the information and insights you want.

In addition to the updates in Ads Manager, Facebook has built a “pay to play” platform that encourages companies to promote their posts and pay for their ads in order to get exposure and get a return on the work they put in. This means that exposure isn’t based on how well you can use the platform but instead based on how much you pay.

[Source]

The ad algorithm has been updated to emphasize this. An example is using paid content to maximize reach through ranking. When Facebook ranks this content, it’s based on the bid and relevancy score. The higher the relevancy score, the better the ad exposure. It’s a combination of user engagement and feedback.

Since ranking isn’t based on a per post basis, the algorithm looks at all campaigns combined to come up with a rank. The better each campaign performs, the better your overall exposure when they’re combined.

9. Facebook is helping friends build stronger connections

Of course, Facebook isn’t all about ads and marketing; it’s a social network after all. Facebook is making a big push to get friends to connect and engage with each other more. They’ve launched a few new features to help users get started. Here’s a look at what’s new.

They help users make more friends

Right now, Facebook has a “People you may know” feature that lists people linked to your current friends. The idea is to offer up new friend suggestions based on people likely to be in the same social circle. However, the list only shows how many mutual friends you have between you.

The new feature goes further. When you click on a profile, you see a lot more information — like events that you’ve both attended, pages you both like and places you’ve both worked or lived. Instead of just telling you that you have friends in common, it highlights experiences you have in common. If users decide to add new friends based on this information, it gives them a place to start their conversation.

The point of the new feature is to help users get to know potential new friends better before sending a friend request.

[Source]

Here’s how to access and use the new feature:

The Discover People feature launched earlier this year to help you find new connections. The difference with the newest enhancement is that it’s based on people who are already tied to your circle of friends. Before that, meeting new people was based on your mutual interest in the same events.

They’re testing a new meetup feature to connect friends

Facebook’s business is built on online social networking. But because there’s still a ton of real-life interactions happening, they’ve set out to help people make more of these kinds of connections.

They’re currently testing a new feature on the mobile app where they suggest friends for users to meetup with offline. Right now only a small group of users in Toronto and New Zealand have access to try it out.

Here’s how it works:

[Source]

When asked about the new feature, a spokesperson said, “People often use Facebook to make plans with their friends, so, we’re running a very small test in the Facebook app to make that easier. We look forward to hearing people’s feedback.”

It’s a proactive approach to getting people to connect with friends. Instead of waiting for friends to reach out, Facebook takes the first step and gets the conversation started. It seamlessly blends two apps while people who might not ordinarily meet up get a chance to strengthen their connections.

They’re testing color comments

It wasn’t that long ago that Facebook rolled out color status backgrounds. You’ve probably seen the brightly colored status updates set against bold white text. This was launched in an effort to make News Feeds look more engaging and attention-grabbing.

Well, now Facebook has taken that idea and started to test a new feature that incorporates color and comments.
[Source]

A spokesperson explained, “We’re always exploring new ways for people to connect and have conversations, so we are testing new features on comments.”

The new feature isn’t available to everyone just yet, and for those who have access, it’s only on mobile. Even though it isn’t widely available yet, it might be better suited for some demographics or regions that prefer vivid designs.

There’s a new dedicated section for Movies

This is another expanded feature that Facebook has started to slowly roll out to mobile users. There will be an updated ”Movie” section available in the main navigation. Based on user location, it shows information such as what movies are playing, where they’re playing and current showtimes. Instead of visiting multiple Facebook pages for movies, everything is available to see on one page.

[Source]

But it’s not about looking at what’s available; users can also buy tickets for more movies using this feature. Facebook partnered with ticket vendors Fandango and Atom Tickets to help with transactions. But back when this feature first launched, there were only a handful of movies available.

Fandango’s president, Paul Yanover, explains that this update is great for users because friends can now connect differently. If they see friends want to see the same movies they do, users can reach out and suggest seeing the movie together.

10. Facebook is compensating for the recent flood of misleading content

By now you’re probably aware of the recent news that Facebook has uncovered 3,000 ads that were created by roughly 470 fake accounts. It’s believed that a Russian company created the accounts and used them to buy ads in the neighborhood of $100,000 during last year’s US election. A few of them mentioned the candidates by name, while others covered more polarizing content.

Facebook has always been — and continues to be — diligent at weeding out fake accounts that distort user experience. One of their latest attempts is to fight against a tactic known as cloaking to reduce the amount of spam that shows up in News Feeds and links to low-quality pages. Cloaking is when spam sites show Facebook content moderators one thing — something that looks genuine and authentic — and users something else. The goal is to slip through the cracks and show users spam-filled content.

[Source]

Facebook has launched new efforts to clamp down on this type of behavior. Facebook ads product director Rob Leathern explains, “We’ll deactivate their ad counts, we’ll kick them off, we’ll get rid of their Pages.” Their fight against spam includes a combination of people power and machine learning.

While Facebook isn’t going to reveal the markers it uses to figure out what’s real and fake, you can rest assured that the vast majority of ads going forward are legit and authentic.

Quick recap:

Here’s a quick recap of the updates for September 2017:

  1. Retiring rarely used boosted post types
  2. New controls and capabilities for branded content marketers
  3. Updates to in-stream video placements
  4. Facebook is rolling out rounded page profile pictures
  5. Facebook is testing putting Instagram stories on its platform
  6. Facebook is testing a new chat feature in WhatsApp
  7. Facebook has launched a new open ecosystem for AI Frameworks
  8. Facebook has updated Ads Manager
  9. Facebook is helping friends build stronger connections
  10. Facebook is compensating for the recent flood of misleading content

In case you missed the top news in previous months, scroll down to read about them!


Top Facebook Updates That You Can’t Afford to Miss – August 2017 Edition

In this August 2017, Facebook introduced some new ad targeting options, put a stop to slow-loading links, and is rolling out better reporting for video re-shares and ad campaign metrics.

As always, we’ve done the hard work for you and collected all the top Facebook news you need to know right now.

Here are the 10 Facebook Updates you can’t miss in August 2017:

  1. Facebook will add event RSVPs as an ad-targeting option.
  2. Faster-loading links will be placed higher on mobile News Feeds.
  3. Facebook has removed their apps Lifestage and Groups.
  4. Facebook is updating their clicks and ad impression reporting.
  5. Facebook is updating video re-share metrics to give creators better insights.
  6. Facebook announced their 2nd Quarter 2017 results.
  7. Facebook is testing “going live” features from Facebook Camera.
  8. Facebook is testing adding Stories to their desktop site.
  9. Facebook is rolling out more Messenger ads globally.
  10. Facebook is introducing two new video platforms, Watch and Show Pages.

Are you ready? Find a cozy spot, grab a drink and here we go!

1. Facebook will add event RSVPs as an ad targeting option.

Facebook plans to let advertisers send targeted ads to RSVPers of Facebook events.

This event-based targeting works by creating a Facebook Custom Audience of everyone who RSVP’d to an event created by the brand’s Facebook Page. Using the Custom Audience feature, brands can send a targeted campaign to the list of RSVPers and use the RSVP list to create a Facebook Lookalike audience of similar users.

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With this RSVP targeting feature, brands will be able to include users who RSVP’d as “going,” users who RSVP’d as “interested,” or include both groups in their Custom Audience list.

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Facebook events were already an easy way for companies to promote their brand, but with this new RSVP ad targeting option, Facebook events will be an even better platform for building brand interest.

2. Faster-loading links will be placed higher on mobile News Feeds.

Facebook announced that they will prioritize links that load faster on mobile News Feeds, causing these stories to appear more frequently at the top of the feed and slower stories to appear less often.

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Users’ network connection, Wi-Fi capability, and device usage will be taken into consideration to estimate link load times and which News Feed content should be prioritized.

Facebook will roll out this update slowly in the coming months. And if you’re worried about this update decreasing your webpage shares, check out Facebook’s guidelines for improving mobile site load time.

3. Facebook has removed their apps Lifestage and Groups.

Facebook has shut down two of their stand-alone apps: Lifestage and Groups.

Introduced one year ago, Lifestage was designed for teens to connect with others at their school by creating personalized video profiles. Users could also view videos made by others at their school.

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The Facebook app Groups was a bit older than Lifestage, launching in November 2014. The app served as a space for users to access all of their Facebook groups in one place. Users could also create new Facebook Groups from the app.

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With these app shutdowns, Facebook is honing in on their main Facebook app. In their responses to these app removals, the company explained that they’re focusing more on Groups in the main Facebook app, and plan to incorporate their learnings from Lifestage into the main Facebook app.

4. Facebook is updating their clicks and ad impression reporting.

To give companies a clearer understanding of their ad performance, Facebook has updated its reporting on clicks and ad impressions.

Facebook will no longer be counting unintentional clicks in campaign metrics and will not be charging for unintentional clicks in Audience Network, its platform for Facebook to run ads in other apps. Explaining this update, Facebook Product Marketing Manager Brett Vogel noted that, “unintentional clicks end up delivering really poor experiences for people and advertisers.”

To determine if a click is unintentional, Facebook measures the “drop off rate” — the time a user spends on an ad’s landing page. Facebook identifies spending less than two seconds on an ad as an unintentional click.

Facebook has also updated their ad impression reporting to give businesses more clarity on their total number of ad impressions with two new metrics:

With these new metrics, Facebook is offering more transparency about ad delivery, allowing users to feel confident about the value of their ad impressions.

5. Facebook is updating video re-share metrics to give creators better insights.

After gathering user feedback, Facebook learned that video creators wanted more metrics on re-shares of their content as well as limitations on the amount of metrics video re-sharers could see. In response, Facebook made some updates to video re-share metrics:

[Source]

With these re-share metric updates, users will be able to form stronger insights about their posting strategy and content creation.

6. Facebook announced their 2nd Quarter 2017 results.

Facebook reported strong second quarter results with sales growth that surpassed analysts’ estimates. The positive report can be attributed to the increasing demand for Facebook’s mobile ads and Facebook’s success in consistently bringing on new users through its suite of apps.

[Source]

Here are a few key Q2 stats:

Facebook stated that “ad load” (the number of ads Facebook shows users) will become less of a revenue growth source this year. For future revenue growth sources, analysts predict that Facebook’s long-term investments in messaging and virtual reality will become substantial revenue streams.

7. Facebook is testing “going live” features from Facebook Camera.

To make it easier for users to go live with video and audio, Facebook is releasing a test version of Facebook Video that includes the abilities to record live audio and video, and to make GIFs.

With this new test version of Facebook Video, the functions “Live,” “Normal,” and “GIF” will appear as tabs across the top of the screen.

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On the “Live” tab, you can tap on a video camera icon to live stream video or a microphone icon to live stream audio.

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Plus, you’ll now be able to choose whether you want to go live in just your Facebook Stories, as a regular Facebook post, or both.

For now, these Facebook Video live features are only being tested and have not been fully rolled out to users.

8. Facebook is testing adding Stories to the desktop site.

As a test, Facebook Stories will now be available on the desktop site to some users on the right side of the News Feed.

[Source]

Emulating Snapchat, Facebook Stories is a feed of friends’ pictures and videos from the last 24 hours.

Facebook had already included Stories in their main mobile app, but so far the feature hasn’t received too much attention. In April, Facebook Stories tried to encourage users to add to their story more by greying out icons of users who weren’t using the feature, but Facebook Stories still hasn’t quite caught on.

[Source]

Facebook hasn’t confirmed the percentage of users that are seeing Stories on their desktop for this test, so it’s unclear for now as to whether adding Facebook Stories to desktop will increase its usage.

9. Facebook is rolling out more Messenger ads globally.

After running limited tests that introduced ads to Facebook Messenger’s home tab, Facebook has announced that it’s expanding a test of home tab ads in the Messenger app globally.

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Facebook has stated that they will gradually increase the number of consumers who will be able to see the ads in the Messenger home tab.

Once clicked on, the new Messenger home tab ads will either lead users to a website or work like the older Click to Message ads, which start a message thread between the user and the company when clicked.

Ads represent a major chunk of Facebook’s revenue, so it makes sense that Facebook is adding Messenger home tab ads (there’s only so much News Feed ad space). Users may find the ads alongside their personal messages on the Messenger home tab too intrusive, but if so they will be given the option to hide ads by clicking on the ad’s bottom right downward arrow.

10. Facebook is introducing two new video platforms, Watch and Show Pages.

Facebook is replacing its old Video tab with a new platform called Watch, a space for Facebook users to watch shows. Shows on Facebook are published video series of episodes, live or recorded.


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Watch will have a Watchlist feature to help users keep track of the shows that they follow, plus Watch will organize shows into personalized sections, like “What Friends are Watching,” to help users discover new shows. Users will also be able to connect with other viewers by commenting and reacting to shows or by joining dedicated Facebook Groups for shows.

Watch is currently only available to a limited group of people in the US on mobile, desktop, and Facebook TV apps, but will be released to more people in the US in the coming weeks.

As a complement to Watch, Facebook is also releasing Show Pages, which are Pages for users to publish new show episodes, information about the show, and related videos.


[Source]

With these Show Pages, users will easily be able to connect with the communities forming around each show.

Quick Recap:

Let’s review the most important Facebook news in August 2017:

  1. Facebook will add event RSVPs as an ad targeting option
  2. Faster-loading links will be placed higher on mobile News Feeds.
  3. Facebook has removed their apps Lifestage and Groups.
  4. Facebook is updating their clicks and ad impression reporting.
  5. Facebook is updating video re-share metrics to give creators better insights.
  6. Facebook announced their 2nd Quarter 2017 results.
  7. Facebook is testing “going live” features from Facebook Camera.
  8. Facebook is testing adding Stories to the desktop site.
  9. Facebook is rolling out more Messenger ads globally.
  10. Facebook is introducing two new video platforms, Watch and Show Pages.

In case you missed the top news in previous months, scroll down to read about them!


Top Facebook Updates That You Can’t Afford to Miss – July 2017 Edition

In July 2017, Facebook introduced fun features for Messenger video chat, added updates to Safety Check and it is giving Group admins more control over their communities.

As always, we’ve done the hard work for you and collected all the top Facebook news you need to know right now. So sit back, grab an iced espresso and click read more!

Here’s a quick overview of the most important Facebook news in July 2017:

  1. Group admins will have more control over their communities.
  2. Facebook Messenger’s Discover tab went live.
  3. Messenger Ads are worldwide
  4. Find Wi-Fi has expanded globally.
  5. Facebook will offer new metrics for Page and Ad insights.
  6. Facebook News Feed algorithm was updated to reduce spam.
  7. New profile picture tools were launched in India.
  8. Facebook Safety Check got multiple updates.
  9. Facebook Messenger introduced new fun video features.

Ready? Let’s go then

1. Group admins will have more control over their communities.

Facebook is adding several features to help Group admins manage their members and grow their teams.

The new tools will provide admins with a better understanding of member activity and more control over Group membership and posting.

The updates include:

With their new community-oriented mission, Facebook plans to continue developing tools for supporting Group admins.

2. Facebook Messenger’s Discover tab went live.

After announcing Discover at F8, Facebook has rolled out v 1.1 for users in the US.

With Discover, users can interact with bots, places, and businesses on Messenger. You can browse by category, recently visited businesses and featured experiences.

 Facebook wrote on their company blog:

Discover makes it even easier to get things done, from reading the latest articles, booking your next vacation, or getting the latest sport highlights, right in Messenger.”

What this means for advertisers:

According to Marketing Land, the “recently used” category on Discover will only include businesses that users have messaged, not businesses that users have followed on Facebook Pages or other social media platforms.

This means that businesses will need to promote their Messenger accounts with ads and hope that their accounts are featured in other categories, like topic-related sections and the “Featured” experiences.

3. Messenger Ads are Going Global

If you’re reading us from Australia or Thailand we’re not telling you anything new, but if you live anywhere else on this planet you can get ready to add a new tool to your marketing arsenal: Messenger Ads!

After more than one year of testing, now businesses around the world can extend their reach to people in Messenger. Are 1.2 billion monthly Messenger users enough for you?

Messenger ads will show up with a “sponsored” label in the home tab of Messenger mobile app and they look like a typical News Feed ads with a headline, description copy, image and calls to action. When users tap on an ad, they will be sent to the destination you selected when creating the ads (your website or a Messenger chatbot).

You’ll find Messenger ads as a placement option, and if you’re using automatic placements Messenger is included for all supported campaign objectives.  Messenger ads are available in Ads Manager and Power Editor and advertisers will be able to add Messenger to campaigns using the Traffic and Conversion objectives.

In the next few weeks, more options are rolling out, the guys at Facebook guarantee that App Installs and other campaign objectives will be supported “soon.”

4. Find Wi-Fi around the world (and find your business too)

After being released to several countries last year, Find Wi-Fi is now available worldwide.

The tool allows users to find the closest Wi-Fi hot spots based on businesses who have shared their Wi-Fi through their Facebook Page.

To access “Find Wi-Fi,” they only need to open the Facebook app, click on the “More” tab and then “Find Wi-Fi.” They can also search through the map to find available hotspots and learn more details about the businesses providing Wi-Fi.

Do we really have to tell you all the benefit that your free Wi-Fi can give to your business?

5. Facebook will offer new metrics for Ad and Page insights.

Facebook has announced the new metrics they will be releasing for businesses over the next few weeks.

These metrics are designed to give companies a better understanding of user interactions with their Facebook Ads and Pages.

Here are the new metrics on ad interactions:

With these two metrics, businesses can determine if ads are successfully leading users to their sites and attracting new customers.

Here are the new metrics on Page interactions:

Facebook plans on releasing more new metrics every month based on the feedback they get on these metrics. Just make sure your approach is data-informed, not data-driven!

6. Facebook News Feed algorithm was updated to reduce spam.

Facebook has changed their News Feed algorithm to reduce the amount of spam on users’ News Feeds.

Unlike Facebook’s clickbait targeting updates last month, this algorithm update will detect spammers by the total number of posts, not by individual post content. According to Tech Times, Facebook identifies anyone sharing 50 or more posts per day as someone who is probably sharing spam or fake news.

In a June 30 blog post, Facebook representatives said that:

Our research further shows that the links they share tend to include low quality content such as clickbait, sensationalism, and misinformation. As a result, we want to reduce the influence of these spammers and deprioritize the links they share more frequently than regular sharers.

For now, this de-prioritization rule only applies to posts with links, not domains, Pages, videos, photos, check-ins or status updates.

But there’s more!

Do you usually change the title or the image when you share a link on Facebook? Well, starting July 17 (and for the next #wedontknowhowmany weeks), you will not able to do it anymore. Facebook is removing the ability to edit a link preview – its image, title, and text – before sharing a link on the platform.

Are you mad? Well, then send a thank you note to all those spammers, scammers, and clickbaiters that have been using link preview editing as a way to post false news.

What if your workflow relies on overwriting link preview metadata? Facebook announced that they’re working to find a solution and, in the next few weeks, will provide publishers with “tools and resources” to support them. Waiting for a solution, there are a few tricks that you can use right now.

7. New profile picture tools were launched in India.

Facebook’s research showed that some users don’t post a profile picture because they worry it will be misused online.

To help users feel more comfortable posting profile pictures, the company is testing new protective profile picture tools in India.

 The first tool is an optional profile picture guard. With this feature, users are able to:

The optional guard also adds a blue layer and shield to your profile picture to signal protection to other users.

The second tool is the option to add a design layer to profile pics.

According to tests, people are 75% less likely to copy a profile picture with a design layer.

Inspired by Indian textile patterns, such as Bandhani and Kantha, illustrator Jessica Singh created the designs for Indian users to add to their profile pictures. Can you imagine a future where thousands of users will pick your designs for their profile picture?

8. Facebook Safety Check got multiple updates.

Speaking of Facebook’s commitment to communities, the company is rolling out several updates to Safety Check.

Safety Check has always allowed users to let family and friends know they are okay during moments of crisis. Now, Safety Check will also include:

Facebook first released Safety Check two years ago. For the past two years, Safety Check has been activated more than 600 times and has sent more than a billion safety notifications. It’s already a powerful tool, and the new features will only make connecting with users easier.

9. Facebook Messenger introduced new fun video features.

Until now, video chatting on Messenger has been pretty bare-bones. Recently, Facebook added several features to amp up the fun factor.

These new tools allow you to add animated reactions, filters, masks, and effects to video chats, and take screenshots of your chats.

Here are a few pro-tips for using the new video chatting features:

For Messenger video chat users, the new emojis, masks, and filters should inspire some laughs from friends and family. For business, they will make your interaction way more personal. Perfect for connecting to millennials, it needs to be used with care with the rest of your audience.

Quick recap:

Take another sip of your iced espresso and let’s review the most important Facebook news in July 2017:

  1. Group admins will have more control over their communities.
  2. Facebook Messenger’s Discover tab went live.
  3. Messenger Ads are worldwide
  4. Find Wi-Fi has expanded globally.
  5. Facebook will offer new metrics for Page and Ad insights.
  6. Facebook News Feed algorithm was updated to reduce spam.
  7. New profile picture tools were launched in India.
  8. Facebook Safety Check got multiple updates.
  9. Facebook Messenger introduced new fun video features.

In case you missed the top news in previous months, scroll down to read about them!


Top Facebook Updates That You Can’t Afford to Miss – June 2017 Edition

In this June 2017, Facebook introduced some new ad formats, ramped up its battle against clickbait, and it is (finally) giving advertisers more control over their ad placements. As always, we’ve done the hard work for you and collected all the top Facebook news you need to know right now.

Here’re the 12 Facebook Updates you can’t miss in June 2017:

  1. Advertisers are getting more control over their ad placements
  2. You can now create full-width ads for the Audience Network
  3. Facebook will have stricter rules against clickbait
  4. Facebook is testing video-format cover images
  5. You can optimize your Facebook post’s target audience
  6. Facebook added new Canvas Ads templates
  7. You can now create value-based Lookalike Audiences
  8. Facebook Live is getting multiple updates
  9. Facebook added GIFs into comments
  10. Facebook Messenger got a small facelift
  11. Facebook introduced new photo album features
  12. Facebook Trending Topics now display more stories

1. Advertisers Get More Control Over Ad Placements

Facebook will launch some new tools to provide advertisers more control over their ad placements in Audience Network, Instant Articles and In-Stream Ads.

Over the next few months, the ad network will launch additional controls to let advertisers exclude some ad placements by blocking lists of publishers & apps.

According to a blog article by Facebook:

We will begin offering upfront, publisher-level transparency across the Audience Network, Instant Articles and in-stream ads on Facebook.”

The updates include:

The social network will continue to build the tools advertisers need to make them feel satisfied with the level of transparency and control they have over their ad campaigns.

2. You Can Now Create Full-Width Ads for the Audience Network

On May 25, Facebook announced that they’re adding a new full-width ads format for Facebook Audience Network, its mobile advertising network.

According to a Facebook’s study, full-width ads increased the ads’ user engagement (CTR) by 58% and monetization (CPM) by 34%.

The new full-width ad format is now available to all mobile web publishers on Audience Network through header bidding.

3. Facebook Will Have Stricter Rules Against Clickbait

To help its users see fewer clickbait stories and find more authentic ones, Facebook recently made three new updates.

Clickbait targeting is now done on an individual post level, not only on the domain and page level. To make the decrease of clickbait more effective, Facebook will look separately whether a post’s headline withholds or exaggerates information.

Moreover, to clean up its social network, all of these algorithm updates are also tested in foreign languages. At the moment, Facebook can detect and downrank clickbait headlines in German, Arabic, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian, Thai, Vietnamese, and Chinese as well as English.

For advertisers and publishers, the update could mean that posting clickbait news isn’t a good strategy for engaging a large Facebook audience.

Instead, we suggest that you focus on creating value for your audience above any other goal.

4. Facebook Is Testing Video-format Cover Images

For some time now, Facebook has collaborated with selected brands to test using video-format cover images.

As reported by AdWeek, Facebook has been working with Netflix and Flixel Photos to experiment with the new cover image style.

Currently, the video-format cover image isn’t available to all brands. However, once the new feature will be rolled out globally, you should follow these specs to create a successful cover video:

  1. Cover videos must be at least 20 seconds long, but no more than 90 seconds long
  2. The recommended video crop size is 820 pixels by 462 pixels
  3. Cover videos should auto-play and auto-loop
  4. Page admins can upload cover videos the same way they currently upload cover photos


5. You Can Optimize Who Sees Your Facebook Posts

While this feature’s been available for some time now, we figured you may have missed the opportunity.

Every time you publish a new Facebook post, you’ll be able to use the Audience Optimization, to ensure the right people will see your Facebook page posts.

Once you click on the Audience Optimization icon when publishing a Facebook page post, a new pop-up window will appear.

You’ll be able to select which interests you’d like to particularly target with this specific post.

For example, AdEspresso was to share a Facebook Advertising Guide on AdEspresso’s Facebook page, they could optimize this post’s audience by targeting “Facebook advertising” and “Advertising” interests.

If your Facebook page has more than 5,000 likes, the Audience Optimization has already been activated and the tool should be available for you to use.

If your page has fewer than 5,000 likes, here’s what to do:

6. Facebook Added New Canvas Ads Templates & Other Updates

On June 7, AdWeek reported that Facebook introduced three new templates for Canvas Ads: Get New Customers, Sell Products and Showcase Your Businesses.

Here’s a brief overview of each new Canvas Ads format:

  1. Get New Customers – Bring your stories from websites and landing pages over to Canvas to nurture interest in a friction-free fashion and drive customers to convert.
  2. Sell Products – Enable discovery and purchase of products and services in a visual and immersive way.
  3. Showcase Your Business – Drive brand awareness by combining the power of engaging videos and photos.

Moreover, Facebook Canvas Ads can now be included in Collection Ads.

On top of that, it will be easier to create new Canvas Ads as Facebook will automatically pull all images from your landing pages, along with their associated destination links.

7. You Can Now Create Value-based Lookalike Audiences

Facebook recently introduced two new solutions that help advertisers to target users who are more likely to take valuable actions after interacting with their campaigns.

According to a blog post by Facebook, the value optimization works by using the purchase values sent from the Facebook pixel to estimate how much a person may spend with your business over a seven-day period. Your ad’s bid is then automatically adjusted based on this estimation, allowing campaigns to deliver ads to people likely to spend more with your business at a low cost.


Moreover, you can now create Lookalike Audiences based on Custom Audiences that include the data about your customers’ expected lifetime value.

The new Facebook advertising features will be rolled out globally in the upcoming months.

8. Facebook Live Is Getting Multiple Updates

To filter the visual spam and have more meaningful and personal reactions to Live videos, Facebook rolled out a few innovative solutions in the past month: Live Chat with Friends and Live With.

In addition to the Live Chat with Friends feature that allows users to have private conversations during their live broadcasts, Facebook is launching a feature that will let you go live with another friend in a side-by-side conversation. This feature was previously available to public figures, but now, it’s rolling out worldwide, allowing you to argue or chat with friends in a Live setting.

As reported by TechCrunch, the social network is already testing this feature in a few countries and it will be more widely available later this summer.

For advertisers, the new Live With feature could present a new set of opportunities for broadcasting interviews, courses or webinars right in the Facebook news feed.

9. Facebook Added GIFs Into Comments

As ofJune 15, every Facebook user can use GIFs in the comments.

This feature was added to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the GIF format. Marketers can search GIFs by using different services, like Giphy and Tenor, then post them in the comments box, in Facebook Messenger or in status updates.


As stated by TheVerge, the busiest day for GIFs was apparently January 1st this year, with more than 400 million GIFs sent.

10. Facebook Messenger Just Got a Facelift

Facebook rolled out a visual update to Messenger for improving navigation across the application.

The new Messenger home screen still has its Stories feature and Messenger Day, but the emphasis is placed on connecting with all the people and businesses more quickly.

At the top bar, there are tabs for Messages, Active, and Groups. The bottom bar features tabs for Home, Calls, People, and Games. Facebook also added a red dot that will help to catch up on unseen messages, calls and any other new activity.

According to Facebook’s Head of Messenger David Marcus, Messenger will soon have a new, Discover tab, also located at the bottom bar. These changes simplify messaging and the Messenger home screen slowly starts to make sense again.

11. Facebook Introduced New Photo Album Features

As reported by AdWeek, Facebook announced an album full of updates to its photo album feature,

Facebook photo albums now also support videos, check-ins, and text posts. Moreover, people can exhibit their favorite album on their profile page by using the Featured Albums tool.

According to TechCrunch, the new feature essentially lets you create digital scrapbooks of all kinds of content. That raises the question of whether Facebook will start letting you create, print, and buy physical photo books the way Google does now.

12. Facebook Trending Topics Now Display More Stories

At the end of May, Facebook introduced a redesigned Trending results page.

Now, when clicking through to a Trending Topic, Facebook will show you a carousel of the other most popular articles written about the subject by different publishers.

Facebook product manager Ali Ahmadi and designer John Angelo wrote in a blog post:
“By making it easier to see what other news outlets are saying about each topic, we hope that people will feel more informed about the news in their region.”

Right now, people can see the new results page on iPhone in the US. However, Facebook’s planning to make it available on Android and desktop soon.

Furthermore, Facebook announced that it is making its Instant Articles platform adaptable with Google AMP and Apple News. So, if you build once in Instant Articles, it is easier to use them on other platforms and stylizing the article won’t be a problem anymore.

Quick Overview

Congratulations! You’ve reached the end of this month’s Facebook news broadcast.

Here’s a quick recap of everything you just read:

  1. Advertisers are getting more control over their ad placements
  2. You can now create full-width ads for the Audience Network
  3. Facebook will have stricter rules against clickbait
  4. Facebook is testing video-format cover images
  5. You can optimize your Facebook post’s target audience
  6. Facebook added new Canvas Ads templates
  7. You can now create value-based Lookalike Audiences
  8. Facebook Live is getting multiple updates
  9. Facebook added GIFs into comments
  10. Facebook Messenger got a small facelift
  11. Facebook introduced new photo album features
  12. Facebook Trending Topics now display more stories

In case you missed some of the past months’ Facebook updates, scroll down to read all of them! But first, leave us a comment


Top Facebook Updates That You Can’t Afford to Miss – May 2017 Edition

So here they are – the top Facebook updates in May 2017:

  1. Facebook held the F8 conference
  2. Facebook advanced its marketing analytics
  3. There are now 1.94 billion monthly active users on Facebook
  4. You can now play games in the Messenger app
  5. Facebook is cleaning up the News Feed
  6. Facebook Dynamic Ads are now even more powerful
  7. You can now ask entry questions for Facebook Groups

Ready to see how you can benefit from all these updates?

Read on!

1. Facebook held the F8 conference

The F8 conference was clearly the biggest Facebook news in April.

During the 2-day conference, Facebook introduced some seriously exciting new products and shared their future plans with thousands ofeager listeners.

A lot of emphasis was placed on the development of VR and AI products, including the launch of a new Camera Effects platform and a VR app named Facebook Spaces.

In case you completely missed out on the conference, we’re going to cover some if the most important announcements right away.

We also covered the F8 conference here on AdEspresso’s blog. Read the full coverage here: Facebook F8 2017 – What Marketers Need to Know

2. Facebook advanced its marketing analytics

Facebook’s ad reporting is already one of the most insightful and accurate paid advertising measurement tools.

By tracking the right Facebook ad metrics, you’ll be able to optimize your campaigns and improve both your ads’ click-through rates and acquisition costs.

Now, advertisers can track the Facebook Page interactions, such as post reactions and shares in the omnichannel analytics for websites, applications, services, and bots.

For example, an e-commerce business can measure if people who comment on an item featured in their Page post go on to view that item on their website or purchase it in their app.

But there’s more to it: Facebook also introduced a new AI-powered Automated Insights tool that’s especially beneficial to larger advertisers who need to segment their target audiences.

If you’re marketing a product that’s sold in physical stores, the new multi-channel analytics can help you better realize the ROI of your campaigns.

Learn more about the Facebook Analytics multi-channel tracking here.

3. There are now 1.94 billion monthly active users on Facebook

On May 3, Facebook released its first quarter earnings report.

As a Facebook advertiser, you can rest assured – the social media platform’s not going anywhere.

As reported by The Verge, the social media platform brought in just over $8 billion in revenue, a jump of 49 percent since the first quarter of 2016.

Moreover, the number of Facebook’s monthly active users has grown by 17% compared to the first quarter of 2016. And so has Instagram’s: the company just announced that it hit the milestone of 700 million monthly active users.

This is good news for anyone looking to reach a large audience of potential customers via paid social media advertising.

4. You can now play games in the Messenger app

On May 2, Facebook announced that its new Messenger game-playing feature is now available to 1.2 billion people using the app every month.

The new games feature, named Instant Games, is available on Messenger and Facebook News Feed for both mobile and web.

According to Facebook, the new games experience allows people to easily discover, share, and play games without having to install new apps.

The gaming platform also lets game makers create turn-based plays, to integrate leaderboards and tournaments.

Right now, there are 50 different titles to play, from Pac-Man to 8 Ball Pool.


As reported by TechCrunch: For now, there are no ads or in-game purchases available, so neither Facebook nor developers are making money on the Instant Games platform just yet.

What this means for advertisers:

The Messenger games could also provide awesome branding opportunities for advertisers. In fact, there are already some branded games like The LEGO Batman Movie’s Bat Climb on the platform.

5. Facebook is cleaning up the News Feed

Due to the recent problem of fake news, Facebook’s taking additional steps to clean up our News Feeds from low-quality ads and posts.

In a blog update published on May 10, Facebook’s representatives told that:

“Starting today, we’re rolling out an update so people see fewer posts and ads in News Feed that link to these low-quality web page experiences. Similar to the work we’re already doing to stop misinformation, this update will help reduce the economic incentives of financially-motivated spammers.”

Facebook analyzed hundreds of thousands of web pages linked to from Facebook to identify those that contain little substantive content and have a large number of disruptive, shocking or malicious ads.

What this means for advertisers:

The changes will roll out gradually over the upcoming months.

If you’re promoting high-quality landing pages with nothing spammy, you may even see a small increase in traffic as you can potentially be competing with fewer advertisers for your audience’s attention.

6. Facebook Dynamic Ads are now even more powerful

Facebook Dynamic Ads let advertisers create remarketing ads based on the person’s browsing history on a website.

For example, if a person visits an eCommerce website, they could be retargeted with a multi-product ad of the exact products they looked at.

With the latest update, you can highlight up to 20 images from a catalog to represent a single item across the carousel ad format used with Dynamic Ads.

This means that you can advertise a single item such as a piece of clothing, recipe, hotel or destination with multiple images, making your remarketing ads even more efficient.

Want to learn more? See our guide to Dynamic Product Ads

If you don’t have a large product catalog and aren’t using the Dynamic Ads, you might still be interested in our guide to the best Facebook (remarketing) audiences.

7. New entry questions for Facebook Groups

If you’re an admin of one or several Facebook groups, the following might be a nice surprise for you!

You can now setup up to three questions for people requesting to join their Group to answer.

As reported by TechCrunch, this lets admins screen potential members to ensure they’re the right fit for the group and will add constructively to the discussion, not just spam or troll the Group.

The answers and questions will only be seen by admins and moderators (don’t worry, no answers will be posted to the group).

If you’re managing a branded Facebook community, this could also be a good opportunity to ask about your audience’s interests and expectations, so that you can have even better discussions in the future.

Quick recap

You’ve reached the end of this month’s news broadcast.

But that’s not necessarily a bad thing – it means you can now go and apply your new knowledge to your Facebook ad campaigns.

Just in case, here’s a quick overview of the top Facebook news in May 2017:

  1. Facebook held the F8 conference
  2. Facebook advanced its marketing analytics
  3. There are now 1.94 billion monthly active users on Facebook
  4. You can now play games in the Messenger app
  5. Facebook is cleaning up the News Feed
  6. Facebook Dynamic Ads are now even more powerful
  7. New entry questions for Facebook Groups

If you’d like to read even more about the latest updates, see our article on the F8 conference.

And in case you missed the top news in April, scroll down to read about them!


Top Facebook Updates That You Can’t Afford to Miss – April 2017 Edition

If you’re able to uncover a new awesome targeting method or use GIFs in your Video Ads before anyone else, you’ll win big. Are you ready to win big this month?

Here’s a quick overview of Facebook updates in April 2017:

Alright, let’s see how each of these updates can help you engage with your Facebook audiences and increase sales.

1. Facebook added new insights to ad reports

The reports you see in the Facebook Ads Manager, displaying your campaign results and helping to optimize campaigns, just got an update.

Facebook is making your predicted ad results more transparent  with Delivery Insights and Estimated Daily Results.

The redesigned Delivery Insights dashboard now features an updated interface that provides in-depth auction metrics and helps to interpret the fluctuations in your campaign performance.

The new auction overlap tool will help you interpret whether overlapping audiences between ad sets might be affecting your spend and audience saturation.i

In addition to that, Facebook also updated their ad results prediction, giving advertisers a better overview of future campaign results. When setting up campaign budgets, you can now see a table with predicted ad delivery and reach.


2. Facebook introduced a new in-app camera

If you’re still not 100% convinced that Facebook believes in live video and Messenger Day, read this:

You can now tap on the camera icon on the top left corner of your Facebook mobile app or swipe right from News Feed to try out Facebook’s new in-app camera.

The Facebook in-app camera is packed with dozens of effects like masks, frames and interactive filters that you can apply to your photos and videos – to make them more fun.

What this means for advertisers:

Facebook’s also partnering with brands to create masks for upcoming movies Alien: Covenant, Despicable Me 3, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Power Rangers, Smurfs: The Lost Village and Wonder Woman.


But Facebook has even bigger plans for their new camera.

According to Connor Hayes, Product Manager:

“Over the coming months, we plan to introduce new ways for the Facebook community to create their own frames and effects that can be used on any photo or video created with the new Facebook camera. Our goal is for the camera to be a home to hundreds of dynamic and fun effects that give you new ways to connect with friends, family, and your community.”

We’re excited to see how smart brands can use the new features to their advantage!


3. New Message Reactions for Facebook Messenger

On March 23, Drew Moxon, Product Manager, Messenger, wrote on Facebook’s blog that they’ve added two new features that improve group conversations to make them more fun and useful.

The new feature is called Messenger Reactions.

Message Reactions let people react to individual messages with specific emotions – love, smile, wow, sad, angry, yes, and no.

This lets people to quickly show acknowledgment or express how they feel about a particular message.

You’ll be able to see how people have reacted to a message in the lower corner of the message. If you don’t currently have the Messenger open, you’ll receive a notification that lets you know who (and how) reacted to your messages.

There’s another new feature in Facebook Messenger – Mentions.

To mention someone, type the “@” symbol or start typing the first letters of a person’s name you want to notify. Next, select them from the list.

When you’re mentioned, instead of simply seeing that someone responded in the conversation, you’ll receive a special notification telling you were called out specifically.


In fact, Facebook’s so in with emojis that this year, they want to award advertisers whose ads have stirred emotions.

As reported by AdAge, Facebook’s changing its ad awards this year, asking agencies for their best work in categories named Laugh, Cry, Wow, Love and Act, mimicking the react button options on Facebook posts.

You can submit your entries here.


4. Facebook Messenger got a new Live Location feature

On March 27, Facebook introduced a temporary live location sharing feature inside Messenger, letting friends and family track your movements an hour at a time.

This could be handy when you’re late to a meetup, letting your friends know you’re on your way.

How the Live Location feature works:

  1. To share your Live Location in a message on iOS, tap the Location icon or tap the More icon and then select Location. For Android, tap the Location icon or tap the More icon and then select Location.
  2. You’ll see a map of your current location and the option to tap a blue bar to share your Live Location.
  3. If you choose to share your Live Location with others, they can see where you are on a map for the next 60 minutes.
  4. You’ll also see an estimate of how long it would take to get to others’ locations by car. (The ETA is seen by the person with whom the location is shared.)
  5. You can stop sharing your Live Location at any time by tapping on Stop Sharing.


5. You can now live stream from your computer

On March 22, Facebook announced in a blog post that live video can now be broadcasted to news feeds from desktop and laptop computers.

Previously, the Live Video was only available through Facebook’s mobile app.

As Facebook pointed out itself, a stable camera setup can be beneficial to many types of Facebook Live broadcasts — from Q&As to vlogs to tutorials. If you’re collaborating with bloggers, this knowledge might come in handy.


Moreover, the new live streaming capacities could be used to organize webinars right on Facebook – you can also incorporate on-screen graphics, titles, and overlays.

For additional webinar tips, see this guide: How to Max Out Your Next Webinar with Facebook Ads


6. Facebook will launch personal fundraisers

Facebook will soon let users raise money on behalf of themselves and others, as a way to help cover the cost of events like medical bills, tuition, and crises.

In a press release, the social media network said that, at first, it only allows fundraisers across six aspects: education expenses, medical bills, pets’ medical bills, crisis and disaster relief, personal emergencies, and assistance for families after a death.

The personal fundraisers feature will roll out over the next few weeks to users in the US, only for those age 18 and up.


Extra: Facebook’s testing Messenger-like comments format

As reported by The Verge, Facebook’s been making changes to the comments section on the Facebook mobile app, swapping the flat line-by-line format with Messenger-like chat bubbles.

Replies also look similar to Messenger, with individual bubbles underneath the original comment.

Not everyone was happy about this update, especially some people reporting about this on Twitter.


Facebook told The Verge it’s testing the new layout with a “small percentage” of users, so if you’re not really into the new design, don’t worry —the format isn’t necessarily permanent.

However, it’s another sign of Facebook changing its platform into a more emotions-focused one.

Key takeaways:

Ok, let’s have a quick overview of the most important Facebook news in April 2017.

  1. New insights in Facebook Ads Manager – You now get more predictions and insights about your ad campaign’s results.
  2. Facebook introduced a new in-app camera – New camera filters and frames provide new marketing opportunities for large brands.
  3. New Message Reactions for Facebook Messenger – Facebook’s messaging app is getting more comprehensive (and messy) with a regular introduction of new features.
  4. Messenger got a new Live Location feature – You can now share your locations with friends so that they know when you’ll arrive.
  5. You can now live stream from your computer – This means new possibilities for Q&As and on-Facebook webinars.
  6. Facebook will launch a personal fundraisers feature – The social media network will help to support important social causes.

Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments!

In case you missed our past months’ Facebook news broadcast, keep reading to find out what important updates were introduced in the past year (month by month).


Top Facebook Updates That You Can’t Afford to Miss – March 2017 Edition

There’s a fresh wind blowing in March, and it seems to carry the smell of Snapchat and video ads…


Among other fascinating updates, Facebook introduced another answer to Snapchat stories and ensured us that video as a medium is growing at a rapid pace.

Here’s the list of the most important Facebook news and updates in March 2017:

You still have time to catch up with the latest changes, and adjust your marketing strategy accordingly. Read away!


1. Facebook launched Messenger Day

Here’s big news for anyone loving Snapchat or Instagram Stories.

After several months of testing, Messenger Day, Facebook Messenger’s answer to Snapchat Stories, was rolled out to users worldwide.

Messenger Day has the same features as Snapchat Stories, including stickers and filters, and posts disappearing after 24h.


Stan Chudnovsky, Head of Product for Messenger wrote in a blog post:

“Billions of photos and videos have been sent capturing all those heartfelt, funny and serious messages that make the Messenger community so powerful. We love seeing how much fun people are having with Messenger’s new visual tools, especially our most popular art and effects like floating hearts and recently, Mardi Gras frames.”

How Messenger Day works:

1. Open Messenger, and tap the “Add to your day” button at the top of your inbox to get started.

2. Snap a photo or video of what’s around you.

3. Add art and effects by tapping the smiley face icon in the top right and then tap to add to your photo or video.

You can also add text over your images by tapping the “Aa” icon. To overlay a drawing, tap the squiggly line in the top right corner.

4. Once you’ve completed editing, tap the arrow in the bottom right corner. You can add directly to your day, save it to your phone’s camera roll, and/or you can choose to send it to a specific person or group of people.

You can customize how you share by tapping the “more” icon and then choosing “Everyone Except” or “Custom.”

All your photos or videos will be viewable for 24 hours.

You can also include a Messenger Day post in conversations. Simply tap that text, and you’ll be asked to confirm whether you’d like to add it to your day.

While there’s no Like counter, Messenger lets you instantly reply privately to a Day with custom or pre-filled messages like “haha”, “Wow”, a heart, or a “100” emoji that will appear in your chat thread with that person.

To advertisers, this could mean new ad placements in the future.

Facebook’s VP of messaging David Marcus told TechCrunch that Messenger Day will “probably” insert advertisements between posts to become one of Messenger’s first revenue streams.


2. Reactions coming to Messenger

On March 4, a TechCrunch reader sent the publisher a tip that Facebook Messenger is showing some users a Reactions option.

In addition to the dislike, heart-eyes, lol, wow, sad, and angry emoji, users can also select between a thumbs-up or thumbs-down Reaction.

As AdWeek put it: The new thumbs-down emoji is the closest Facebook has come to adding a dislike button.

Facebook confirmed the new feature to TechCrunch, saying:
“We’re always testing ways to make Messenger more fun and engaging. This is a small test where we enable people to share an emoji that best represents their feelings on a message.”

This means that the Messenger Reactions aren’t yet rolled out to all users, but they soon might be.

The primary use case for the new Messenger Reactions is likely group chats, where more popular messages could be noted quicker with the help of emotional or thumbs-up emojis.

Facebook Reactions are one year old

Since their launch one year ago, Facebook Reactions have been used more than 300 billion times.

The love Reaction has been by far the most popular, accounting for more than one-half of total Reactions.


3. Facebook introduced updates to Ad Breaks

At the end of February, Facebook introduced and expanded three types of video ads for both the social network and publishers’ websites.

Here’s a quick explanation about each update and what it means for Facebook advertisers.

1. In-stream video ads on publisher websites can now be created via the Audience Network.

During a testing period, publishers like Univision and Collective Press saw significant benefits of Audience Network in-stream video ads.

Advertisers can upload their ads and bids to Facebook in advance so that algorithms can run an auction and deliver Facebook users most relevant ads.

Here’s what Facebook’s video Ad Breaks look like:

To read more about Audience Network in-stream video ads, see this guide.

2. Ad Breaks feature for Facebook Live videos within Facebook’s own app is beta tested on additional profiles and Pages in the U.S.

Over the past few months, a small group of video creators has been testing Ad Breaks to make money from their Facebook Live videos.

Here’s how it works:

When a broadcaster chooses to take an ad break, people watching the video will see an in-stream ad of up to 15 seconds. The broadcaster will earn a share of the resulting ad revenue.

3. Facebook is testing Ad Breaks in on-demand video.

The social media network started to test the Ad Breaks feature in on-demand video, allowing publishers to insert short ad breaks into videos they upload, or into existing videos in their Facebook libraries.

This would mean more monetization opportunities for publishers and more Facebook video ad placements for advertisers.

You can read more about each update here.


4. Facebook autoplay videos will play with sound

Facebook mobile users will soon hear audio fading in as they scroll through videos in their News Feed. As people keep on scrolling and view the whole video, the sound will get a bit louder on the phone until they scroll past the clip.


According to Facebook:
“After testing sound on in News Feed and hearing positive feedback, we’re slowly bringing it to more people. With this update, sound fades in and out as you scroll through videos in News Feed, bringing those videos to life.”

A Facebook rep confirmed to AdWeek that the sound-on feature applies to “video ads and branded content videos in addition to regular organic videos.”

This means that mobile Facebook audiences will see your ads with sound, making it easier to catch your audience’s attention. There will also be less need for subtitled video ads.


5. Facebook launched a VR app

On March 8, Facebook launched Facebook 360, a Samsung Gear VR app powered by Oculus, for the 360 video and photo content posted on the social media platform.

With more than one million 360 videos posted to the site alongside more than 25 million 360 photos, Facebook 360 will have plenty of content to show.

Facebook 360 will feature four feeds:

Brent Ayrey, Product Director, and Christopher Wong, Software Engineer, wrote in a blog post:
“Today, we’re making 360 photos and videos even more immersive and easier to discover with the launch of the Facebook 360 app for Samsung Gear VR, powered by Oculus. The app is an exciting new way to explore Facebook 360 photos and videos.”

To download the Facebook 360 app for Gear VR, open the Oculus app on your Gear VR-compatible Samsung device and search for Facebook 360, or visit the Oculus site to get started.


6. Facebook is working on additional ad measurement tools

Facebook’s advanced measurement platform Atlas used to be available to only large advertisers.

Now, the social media network is planning to bring additional measurement capabilities to the Facebook Business Manager.

Product Marketing Director for Measurement Scott Shapiro said Facebook will be launching a new area of the Facebook Business Manager called Advanced Measurement, where it will be making Atlas capabilities available in a self-serve way.

In the future, the advanced reporting capacity will be available to tens of thousands of marketers using Facebook’s ad tools.

As reported by TechCrunch: The Advanced Measurement is currently in testing phase. Facebook plans to refine the interface and introduce more data as the new tool rolls out sometime during this year.


7. Facebook users can now add flags to their profile pictures

If you like to support your national sports team or are in love with your country, here’s cool news: you can now add a small flag icon to your Facebook profile picture.

Previously, Facebook has allowed users to use customized profile picture frames to express support for sports teams, causes, and movements.

Now, there are nearly 200 country flag frames in the list. You can see all the options and change your profile picture frame here.

Smaller news:

Facebook is pushing record labels to let you soundtrack your videos – read more in this article by TechCrunch

Publishers can now place ads manually within Facebook Instant Articles or choose between three options for automatic placement: ads every 250, 350 or 500 words. – read more from Facebook’s blog post

Quick recap:

Just in case, here’s a quick overview of all the topics covered in this news broadcast. Use it as a guideline when brainstorming new Facebook marketing ideas.

In case you missed our past months’ Facebook news broadcast, keep reading to find out what important updates were introduced in February 2017.


Top Facebook Updates That You Can’t Afford to Miss – February 2017 Edition

If January was the month of getting your Facebook Ads working on full steam, February’s the month for analyzing and optimizing your ad campaigns to reach new heights.

February’s also been a busy news month for Facebook, bringing us fascinating updates on Facebook Stories, video ads, and even GIFs.

As always, we’ve been digging for the latest Facebook news and we have investigated every promising lead.

As a result, just one click away, you’ll find a list of the Top Facebook updates in February 2017:

It’s time to grab a huge cup of coffee, read about the latest Facebook news and, once you’re done, boost your Facebook ad results in just 120 minutes with these tips and our latest guide.

1. Facebook’s Q4 earnings report showed great results

One thing’s for sure: Facebook keeps growing. But is it keeping up with its previous growth rate?

As reported by TechCrunch, Facebook had another strong quarter in Q4 2016, earning $8.81 billion in revenue. This represents a 53% jump from the same time last year.

During the past year, Facebook’s daily active users number rose 18% to 1.23 billion people. This means that you can potentially reach 18% more people on Facebook!

Source: TechCrunch

According to Facebook’s chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg:
“Facebook now has 4 million paying brands, along with another 500,000 on Instagram.”

Here are three more interesting Facebook stats to know:

Facebook Ads is a powerful advertising channel, but only if you nail your audience targeting and know how to evaluate your ad cost.

2. You can now use GIFs in Facebook ads

We were super excited when reading about this in AdWeek and are looking to try out the new feature: Facebook now allows brands to include animated GIFs in their video ads.

Read more: Facebook Video Ads: The Secret Weapon You’re Too Afraid To Use

Affinitiv digital marketing specialist Chris Ruberg shared the screenshot below, displaying a pop-up atop the part of Facebook’s Ads Manager where brands would create video ads.

You can either create GIFs yourself or use sites like GIPHY to find fun content.

You can also create a Facebook boosted post with an animated GIF:

Here’s an example of a Facebook GIF post by Buffer:

Facebook’s suggestions for the best results:

GIFs, like video ads, have the potential of returning higher click-through rates and a lower cost-per-click price. Using GIFs in your Facebook video ads is definitely worth a shot.

3. Get more insight into your Video Ads results

Facebook truly believes in the future of Video Ads. The social media network recently announced that it’s adding new video reporting options for a better overview of ad results.

Moreover, Facebook’s been working with their third-party verification partners so that they, in turn, can bring better insights to marketers.

Now, you can see new in-view and duration metrics for your Video Ads, including:


Important! When creating video ads, don’t forget to add captions. According to Facebook, captioned video ads increase video view time by an average of 12%. Another study of Facebook video ads discovered that 41% of videos were almost meaningless without sound.

Facebook also announced that it would introduce new buying options later this year across Facebook, Instagram and Facebook Audience Network:

  1. Completed-view buying: Advertisers will only pay for video ads that have been viewed entirely, for any duration up to 10 seconds.
  2. Two-second buying: Advertisers can buy video ads according to Media Ratings Council criteria, which include two-second views where the video is at least 50% on the screen.
  3. Sound-on buying: Advertisers will be able to buy ads with an option to only pay when videos play with the sound on. Facebook videos typically show up in the News Feed on mute. Under new criteria, the views will only count when the volume is on.

4. Facebook tests ad placement on Messenger’s home screen

On January 25, Facebook’s product manager Eddie Zhang announced in a blog post that the social network is testing ads on Messenger home screen. Advertisers will be able to place an ad in an area of Messenger below your recent conversations.

Zhang wrote:
“Businesses have long been telling us that they are very excited about the potential of the Messenger platform to reach their customers and help them to drive sales, build brand awareness and increase customer satisfaction.”

The test is carried out in Australia and Thailand, and we’re excited to hear about the results.

This new ad placement could help brands to target the right users with the right promotions at the right time.

5. Facebook’s been working on its News Feed algorithm

As reported by AdWeek, Facebook’s been working on improving its News Feed algorithm to bring users more timely and relevant content.

On January 31, Facebook announced that the goal with News Feed is to show people the stories that are most relevant to them.

These two updates will help to better rank posts in peoples’ feeds:

With this update, Facebook’s emphasizing the need for authentic content.

Source: AdWeek

Research scientists Akos Lada and James Li and engineering manager Shilin Ding described Facebook’s efforts to identify authentic content for News Feed:
“With this update, we’re adding new universal signals to determine whether a post might be authentic. To do this, we categorized pages to identify whether or not they were posting spam or trying to game News Feed by doing things like asking for likes, comments or shares.”

For example, if page posts are often being hidden by people reading them, it’s a signal that it might not be relevant or authentic.

Moreover, if there is a lot of engagement from many people on Facebook about a topic, or if a post is getting a lot of engagement, Facebook’s algorithm will quickly understand that the topic might be temporarily more important.

What this update means for Facebook marketers:

Facebook anticipates that most Pages won’t see any significant changes to their distribution in News Feed. Some Pages might see a small increase in referral traffic or outbound clicks, and some Pages might see minor decreases.

The best formula to get your posts in front of your target audience is to post stories that are relevant to your audience.

Quick update: changes in trending topics:

Along with the News Feed changes, Facebook is also changing the Trending Topics section, removing personalization.

According to AdWeek, in order to make the Trending section more relevant, Facebook is changing how it identifies trending topics. While topics were highlighted in the past based on what users were engaging with on the platform, Facebook will now factor in the number of publishers posting about a given topic, combined with the user engagement.

6. Facebook Stories coming to the Facebook app

On January 25, TechCrunch reported that Facebook launched Facebook Stories in Ireland on iOS and Android, and plans to bring it to more countries in the coming months.

The Stories from a users’ friends will appear on top of Facebook News Feed.

The company told TechCrunch:

“Facebook has long been the place to share with friends and family, but the way that people share is changing in significant ways. The way people share today is different to five or even two years ago — it’s much more visual, with more photos and videos than ever before. We want to make it fast and fun for people to share creative and expressive photos and videos with whoever they want, whenever they want.”

More on Facebook Stories: Facebook is developing animated selfie masks for brands

According to AdWeek, Facebook’s in talks to let several Hollywood studios promote big-budget movies using new animated masks on the social network.

Facebook Live already lets people use the filters to sync up special effects over their faces, but has not allowed brands to participate. Soon, there might be an option to boost your branded Facebook campaigns with a special selfie mask.

Quick recap:

Now that you’ve scanned through the latest Facebook news, here’s a quick overview of everything you’ve just read:

  1. Facebook’s Q4 2016 earnings report showed continuing growth
  2. You can now add GIFs to your Facebook ads
  3. Facebook upgraded its video reporting with additional metrics
  4. Advertisers may soon be able to advertise on Facebook Messenger‘s home screen
  5. News Feed algorithms got a serious boost & updates in Trending Topics
  6. Facebook Stories keeps growing and improving, becoming an increasingly important rival to Snapchat

If you missed our past Facebook news broadcasts, no worries, they’re all in this very same post, waiting to be discovered!

Keep reading to find out what updates were introduced by Facebook in January 2017.


Top Facebook Updates – January 2017 Edition

 

For this first month of the year, there are quite a few exciting updates that you don’t want to miss. Are you ready to dig in? Here’s a quick overview of the most important Facebook news in January 2017:

  1. Ads in the Facebook Audience Network reach over 1 billion people
  2. Facebook might soon launch mid-roll ads in videos
  3. Advertisers are now able to reach more potential buyers with dynamic ads
  4. We can all soon advertise between Instagram Stories
  5. Facebook Journalism Project was launched
  6. You can now listen to Live Audio content on Facebook
  7. Coming soon: updated Instant Articles

1. Facebook Audience Network delivers ads to over a billion people

Since its launch in October 2014, the Facebook Audience Network has helped marketers to reach users outside of the social media platform.

While Facebook reached 1 billion users on its social network already some time ago, it now has more than 1 billion people viewing its advertising network. (That’s a huge potential audience waiting to be reached!)

According to Facebook, the advertisers who opt-in to the Audience Network can reach 16% more people on average than they could by advertising on Facebook and Instagram.

If you haven’t used the Audience Network ad placement for reaching your audience, why not try it now. On average, advertisers have seen a 12% increase in conversions for website campaigns and a 17% increase in installs for mobile app campaigns when extending their Facebook ads to Audience Network.

How to advertise on the Audience Network:

To show your ads to people in the Facebook Audience Network, select this ad placement when setting up your Facebook ads.

Keep your eye on the results to evaluate whether to continue advertising in the Audience Network in the future.

2. You can now advertise in Instagram Stories

Successful Facebook advertising is often intertwined with Instagram. As you might have noticed, Facebook recently launched Instagram Stories which has been hugely popular since its launch.

On January 11, Facebook announced that it’s starting to let brands advertise in its 24-hour video stories section. As reported by AdWeek, around 30 brands are already trying the new full-screen ads. That includes Capital One, Asos, Nike, Buick and Airbnb.


One of the main advantages of Instagram ads over Snapchat is the ad technology and audience targeting. Snapchat’s ad platform is still developing while Instagram’s is built on top of Facebook.

Read more: Timeline Showing Instagram and Snapchat’s 2016 War Over the Best Features

The ads in Instagram Stories will be sold on the platform’s auction-style, automated system that charges cost-per-thousand-impressions rates. As it’s a brand new feature, Facebook’s still working on finding out the best practices, e.g. how many times to show an ad to users.

The Instagram Stories platform is steadily growing. On January 11, Instagram announced that the Stories feature is now used 150 million people every day. This represents a 50-million-user increase in just three months.

Read more: 26 Instagram Ad Best Practices That Will Make You an Outstanding Marketer

3. Facebook is testing mid-roll ads

While this news wasn’t confirmed by Facebook when brought up by AdWeek, there’s a good chance we’ll soon have mid-roll ads on Facebook videos.

As reported by Recode, Facebook is going to start showing ads in the middle of its videos and sharing the money with publishers.

The mid-roll ad format means that ads will be inserted into video clips after people have watched them for at least 20 seconds. Unlike other video platforms, Facebook doesn’t allow to add pre-video ads to publishers’ content. The videos that contain ads also need to be at least 90 seconds long.

In 2016, Facebook users were watching videos for 100 million hours per day. Mid-roll ads would mean that you could buy ads inside unbranded video content that’s relevant to your target audience.

4. Reach more potential buyers with a new dynamic ads feature

Retargeting is one of the best ways to reach interested buyers with your Facebook campaigns. You can remind the right people at the right time about the right product.

Facebook is adding more and more options to target more and more people likely to be interested in your offer. When using Facebook dynamic ads, advertisers can now reach people who are highly likely to be interested in a specific product.

For example, a company could target people who have been looking for blue t-shirts across multiple retailers. Also, people who like Facebook posts and pages about t-shirts could be served an ad about a blue t-shirt. The person doesn’t need to visit your website, simply show interest in a product similar to yours.

According to Facebook:

“Now, if someone has been browsing for furniture across multiple websites, Facebook may infer that this person is interested in buying a couch, and they may be a good candidate to serve a dynamic ad for furniture.”

How the dynamic ads update works:

Similar to dynamic ads, Facebook advertisers first upload a catalog of products that they would like to promote. Next, they select an audience they’d like to target, e.g. men in the UK.

After you’ve created a campaign, Facebook’s algorithms start to work their magic, looking at traffic patterns on retailers’ mobile sites and apps to automatically serve a targeted promotion to relevant users.

Right now, dynamic ads are only available for US brands, but Facebook is planning to include other regions in the coming months.

Read more: A Beginner’s Guide to Facebook Dynamic Product Ads

5. You can now listen to Live Audio content on Facebook

If you’re a fan of podcasts and other audio content, there’s a new way to use it in your Facebook marketing strategy.

At the end of December, Facebook launched a new feature – Live Audio. The feature lets users listen to broadcast voice recordings, encouraging people to publish more audio-only content.

Here’s how Facebook Live Audio works:

Facebook Live Audio works similarly to Live Video. Users can go live from the Facebook app by pressing a button. Once a recording starts, Facebook creates a post using a Page cover image. People can see the recording in their news feeds and listen to the audio content.

For Android users, audio will also play if a user leaves the Facebook app to use another app or locks their phone.

As Facebook’s representatives said: “From interviews to book readings, we’re excited about the layer of interactivity that Live Audio brings to both the broadcaster and listener.”

6. Facebook Journalism Project

After an election year of fake news controversies on social media platforms, Facebook is taking serious steps for improving the news content.

On January 11, Facebook announced Facebook Journalism Project, a collaboration with publishers and journalists to improve the quality of online news.

According to Fidji Simo, product manager in Facebook:
“We will be collaborating with news organizations to develop products, learning from journalists about ways we can be a better partner, and working with publishers and educators on how we can equip people with the knowledge they need to be informed readers in the digital age.”

Lately, Facebook has taken steps to reduce the spread of news hoaxes, including ways for people to report them more easily, to disrupt the financial incentives for spammers, and to work with third-party fact-checking organizations.

Facebook is even launching a series of e-courses for journalists to discover content and engage with readers on Facebook and Instagram.

7. Coming soon: updated Instant Articles

If you’re in the publishing business or work with Facebook Instant Articles, here’s what you need to know: Facebook is testing a way for publishers to combine multiple Instant Articles into one post.

Here’s how it works:

When a user clicks on an Instant Article from a publisher, they will be able to swipe through multiple unrelated stories instead of just one.

If you like the story, you can choose to share a post, save it for later, open it in Safari or post it to other channels like Twitter or email.

Conclusion

Alright, it’s time to wrap up this newscast and head to design some ads for Instagram Stories.

Here’s a quick recap of all the Facebook news in January 2017:

  1. Ads in the Facebook Audience Network reach over 1 billion people
  2. Facebook might soon launch mid-roll ads in videos
  3. Advertisers are now able to reach more potential buyers with dynamic ads
  4. We can all soon advertise between Instagram Stories
  5. Facebook Journalism Project was launched
  6. You can now listen to Live Audio content on Facebook
  7. Coming soon: updated Instant Articles

And now… get back to work! But just in case you think you might have missed some of the big updates of the past year… click here, we have them covered!!