Business owners utilizing Facebook as an integral part of their customer acquisition strategy almost need a dedicated Facebook manager just to keep up with the latest Facebook marketing tools and audience interaction resources. From artificial intelligence messaging to custom camera frames and augmented reality overlays, Facebook marketers have their hands full keeping up with the latest tools at their disposal.
To make your job easier, we’ve created a compilation of some of the top features you need to know about, updates like Live Location in Messenger and Messenger Mentions/Reactions too. The more informed you are as a Facebook user, the better prepared you are to put the power of Facebook to work for your brand.
Pour yourself a coffee, sit back, and prepare yourself for a deep dive into Facebook’s recent updates. You’ll be amazed at the recent product launches and the incredible innovations Facebook is currently working on. Ready? Let’s dive in!
Messenger Day lets you share ephemeral selfies, photographs, and videos with their Facebook Messenger connections. Customize your images with an extensive array of add-ons including text, emojis, and photo filters. Messenger Day is an excellent way to boost audience engagement throughout the day.
Right now, it doesn’t appear that Facebook pages have access to this feature because they can’t access the Messenger app, which is available only to individual users. This makes the feature more accessible to small businesses, contractors, and public figures that have a large number of clients or interested users as Facebook friends.
Currently testing in limited markets, Facebook’s Messenger Rooms allow group chats around specific topics. Each topic room has a 250-person limit and both private and public rooms are available. Rooms are a brilliant way for brands to build a defined audience around a topic relevant to their brand and discover consumer sentiment at the same time. Stay tuned to see if Messenger Rooms roll out in your area.
Play Games on Messenger
Messenger got way more fun with games rolling out at the end of 2016. People can play classics like Pac-Man, Space Invaders and Track and Field and compete against their friends in messenger for the highest score!
Social, fun and competitive, games on Messenger feature score-based leaderboards, in-context chat, and group thread conversations to challenge, celebrate and congratulate.
Facebook Color Status
In an effort to encourage more personalized text-based posts on Facebook, some users can now customize the background of their posts with a wide range of gradient colors. Android mobile users had access to this first at the end of 2016, but it’s hitting iOS and desktop now.
Facebook’s new in-app camera lets users apply filters and creative effects to their videos and photographs. Add masks from popular movies or choose fun art overlays from Facebook-commissioned artists.
Group Video Chat in Messenger
With 245 million people making video calls in Messenger every month, Facebook are bringing everyone on Messenger the ability to turn group chats into face-to-face conversations no matter where you are in the world.
You can see up to six people at a time … up to 50 friends can join in and choose to just listen in and join via voice, or be on camera. Once more than six people are on the call, just the dominant speaker is shown to all participants.
Facebook Live for Groups and Events
In April 2016, a big update pushed out for Facebook Live users. Everyone that utilizes the power of Facebook groups were very excited with this update.
Live in Groups allows you to broadcast to just the people in the Facebook Group – so you can go live in your family group, or share business tips for your VIP clients in your business group. What a powerful way to connect better and grow relationships in your business or personal life.
Live in Events means you can go live from a birthday party to allow those that can’t make it to join the fun, and a performer can go live backstage to the people who’ve RSVP-ed to the event to give them a sneak peek. You can even use Events to schedule a live Q&A session.
Facebook Stories/Facebook Direct
Along with their Facebook camera announcement, Facebook also announced Facebook Stories and Facebook Direct. Facebook Stories let users create ephemeral collections of videos and photographs that disappear after 24 hours. Facebook Direct offers a way to share visual content with specific Facebook friends instead of with your entire Facebook audience. Once your Facebook Direct content is viewed (or responded to), the content disappears.
The team at Buffer wrote a great post discussing this feature. Read Facebook stories article.
Stream Facebook Videos to your TV
In October 2016 Facebook rolled out the ability to stream Facebook videos to your TV using Apple TV or Google Chromecast. You can watch your favorite videos on the big screen and still react to the video on your mobile phone.
Facebook Rights Manager
Rights Manager launched about a year ago to help rights owners manage and protect their video content at scale. Now Facebook improved the product to include greater automation and control in Rights Manager.
“To help make management more efficient for rights owners, we’re now enabling them to automate more of the process, and providing more options for what happens to matched content. This means that the rights owner can decide to set an action to happen automatically when a match of their content is found on Facebook, simplifying the process.
Setting Automated Match Actions
Match actions determine what happens when Rights Manager identifies a match of copyrighted content. Rights Manager now has four automatic match actions:
- Block: Blocks matched content from being viewable on Facebook upon upload.
- Claim ad earnings: Allows rights owners to claim a share of the money generated if an Ad Break runs in a piece of content that matches the rights owner’s reference file. We’re still early days with testing Ad Break, but this option may be something rights owners want to use in the future.
- Monitor: Allows matched content to remain viewable on Facebook, where the rights owner can monitor video metrics. The rights owner can apply a different action at a later time.
- Manually review match: Sends the match to the Manual Review tab to be reviewed and acted on at a later time.
Match conditions are the criteria that rights owners can set to determine whether to take an action on a match of their content. If match conditions are met, then the specified match action (above) that the rights holder has set is taken automatically.
With the addition of Privacy type, Rights Manager features five match conditions:
- Viewer location: The country where a viewer watched the matched video.
- Content type: The video and/or audio parts of a matched video that overlap with your reference file.
- Match length: The amount of time a matched video overlaps with your reference file.
- Publisher type: Choose to match based on whether the content was posted by a Page or a Profile.
- Privacy type: Choose to match based on whether the video is private (non-public), public, or both.
Using combinations of match actions and conditions, rights owners can use Rights Manager to support their business goals. For example, a rights owner could choose to “Block” all public copies of a matched video in the United States.
These updates will start rolling out today and will be available to Pages using Rights Manager globally in the coming weeks.”
If your business is considering using augmented reality to connect with consumers, you’ll want to pay attention to Facebook Spaces. Currently in beta testing, Spaces lets you do anything from draw 3D objects or show off your photographs to make video calls in augmented reality.
For brands contemplating the power of Facebook + Oculus Rift, Spaces is a must-monitor feature. Facebook recently announced they were shutting down their Oculus Rift Story Studio in an effort to focus on supporting 3rd-party virtual reality/augmented reality content development. Interesting times ahead for those fascinated by the potential of augmented reality brand initiatives.
Last year August Facebook Introduced the First Virtual Reality Experience Featuring President Obama:
Facebook Brain Typing
If the intersection of Facebook and augmented reality isn’t enough for you, pay attention to a futuristic project Facebook is working on. Facebook’s Building 8 team is working on optical sensors that will allow users to type with their brain.
While you may not be posting Facebook status updates with your brain waves any time soon, this project gives you a clear indication that Facebook is focusing on the future and intends to be so much more than just a social media network.
The last year or so has been a busy one for Facebook. The product launches have been non-stop. One need only look at their Facebook Developer interface for a peek at the breadth of their innovations. From the Facebook Live API to Facebook Games and Open-Source projects, the team at Facebook has their foot on the acceleration pedal with no signs of slowing down.
Brand builders wanting to ensure their company stays at the forefront of innovation and social media networking are well advised to keep a very close eye on the movements of Mark Zuckerberg and his Facebook teams.
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