Facebook, the world’s largest social platform, is known for rolling out regular updates and changes to its site and the last couple of weeks seem to have been particularly prolific even for them.
To keep you in the loop, the Branded3 social media team have compiled a short list of updates that have caught our attention and could prove useful for brands looking to improve and sustain their activity on the platform.
On 13th of November, Facebook announced that it would be trialling a new feature that allows users to rank comments, a framework similar to that found on social bookmarking sites such as Reddit.
This is great news for brands who receive a lot of comments on their Facebook posts. It means that they are able to identify the comments that their fans deem most important, giving them a quick and easy insight into the topics that are central to their customer’s needs and concerns.
The comments will be ranked on engagement which means that the most interesting content will be the most prominent. The feature also allows brands to reply directly on comments left on posts making for a more personal experience for fans. This example from AllFacebook depicts how the system will look:
The Pages Feed button simply allows Facebook users to change their Home timeline to one specifically for the pages they ‘like’, as opposed to a mix of these pages along with content posted by their friends.
This update seems to have arrived at a perfect time for Facebook since the platform has received a lot of criticism surrounding brand pages and the sudden, unexplained drop off in brand reach (an issue highlighted by parody pages such as The Page No One Will Ever See).
All Facebook users will now be able to see a tab on the left hand side of their Home page allowing them to peruse the updates of their preferred brands.
On the face of it, it would seem like an antidote to the problem of stinted reach, but it seems a fairly weak one as there is no prominent call-to-action for any user to actually use the function.
Mobile Share Button
The mobile share button is more of an evolution than an update, as the need for the function has been growing. All Android and iOS Facebook apps now have the functionality to share posts, images and videos the same way users can on the desktop version.
This update is great news for all Facebook users, brands and individuals alike, especially as there are now 600 million monthly mobile users and counting.
On September 27th 2012, Facebook announced its new and exciting Gifts program with a video explaining exactly how the function would work.
Apart from allowing brands to sign-up for the program using their user friendly process, Facebook seemed to have remained ominously silent about the project. But just in time for those busy Christmas shoppers the social titan released its first list of ‘partners’ featuring an unsurprising mix of American global brands such as Starbucks, babyGap, Brookstone, L’Occitane, ProFlowers, NARS Cosmetics and the famous FAO Schwarz toy store.
This move to genuine social commerce has seen a predictable rise in Facebook stock, reported by the Huffington Post as rising 7.1% to $21.77. The feature, which not only allows users to send gifts to their Facebook friends off the cuff, but prompts them to on special occasions such as birthdays, engagements and weddings; will be rolling out to more and more users in the weeks and months to come with a mobile version very visible on the horizon for every user.
The Social Jobs App
Another step forward for Facebook has come in the form of their Social Jobs App. Being aired on the 14th of November, the day before both the Mobile Share update and the release of the Gifts Partners list, this news seemed to have slipped under the radar for most but remains noteworthy.
The app was developed following a partnership between the U.S. Department of Labour, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), DirectEmployers Association, the National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA) and Facebook themselves in an apparent effort to alleviate the rates of unemployment in the U.S.
The app already hosts a gargantuan 1.9 million jobs but seems only available to those in America for now. The world of recruitment is an easy win for Facebook as their constant attempt to monopolise every aspect of social media now sees them dipping into waters previously occupied exclusively by contending platform LinkedIn.
The future of this app is unclear but bigger brands could stand to save hugely by bypassing recruitment agencies and going straight to a ‘free’ service such as the one being currently offered by Facebook.