Things are changing again on planet Facebook. Last week, the social media giant announced its decision to reduce visibility of overly promotional posts on your timeline from brand pages. Next came Facebook at work, a unique service with the same features as Facebook that you could use exclusively with your work colleagues - a potential rival to LinkedIn. This was swiftly followed by the announcement that a new app had been developed to cluster all your groups together in one place. So what does all this mean for brands and users of Facebook?
Promotional Facebook posts
Results from a recent satisfaction survey conducted on hundreds of thousands of people about what they'd most like to see change on Facebook were pretty clear. Users want to read more about their friends and the pages they liked, and less about promotional content from brands.
Three particular types of content that just are a no-no for the users include:
- Posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an app
- Posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context
- Posts that reuse the exact same content from ads
While Facebook has some measures in place to lessen the frequency posts from brands, promotional content comes mostly from those pages which the users had chosen to like. Ads however, are managed with tight controls over promotional text on images and through paid targeting.
From January 2015, Facebook will be activating new measures to limit posts that are too pushy or promotional. Brands will therefore have to re-work their messaging, as anything considered too sales oriented, using promotion out of context or re-using content from ads will not be visible.
Facebook at work
According to anonymous sources, Facebook is testing a new version of it's social network called Facebook at work. Many companies restrict or limit the use of Facebook at work but it seems this could soon be a thing of the past with 'Facebook at work' - a version for professionals that would offer the exact same options as the original website with a news feed, messenger and groups and yet be completely separate from Facebook itself. If 'Facebook at work' comes to life, it could be a massive hit, allowing people to use the internal social network to communicate with their peers, managers and the like without having to feel guilty or to face potential issues. Facebook have not commented on the leaked news so far but it has been widely shared in the media.
Last but not least, a new Facebook app, 'Facebook Groups', was made available few days ago. 'Share what you care about with the people who care about it most' is the message the social network is delivering to invite users to come and view all their groups in one single app - just as we saw with the launch of messenger. This new app will allow them to interact and jump from community to community in a more seamless manner. Although groups is one of their main features, the expectation is that this will increase and encourage it's use.
What's next I wonder? To be continued...