Since 2019 has kicked off in earnest, anyone that follows tech news will have seen Facebook popping up in their newsfeed very regularly. It's been a busy month for the company, with them making a number of announcements about changes and new products coming throughout 2019. Below are a few of those announcements that caught our attention - and may be useful to know as a small business owner doing any sort of social media campaign or Facebook marketing.
Whatsapp, Instagram & Facebook Messenger to work together
A few clickbait style headings earlier this week announced that Facebook was "merging" Whatsapp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger. While there is some truth to that statement, the changes aren't quite as comprehensive as a full merger. In a nutshell, the plan is to make the underlying structure of the messenging parts of those apps work together. So for example if you have Facebook Messenger and your friend has Whatsapp, you'd still be able to message them directly. More importantly, that messaging is all going to have end-to-end encryption (starting with Facebook Messenger). So you can rest a bit easier knowing your messaging is safe from prying eyes.
Whether this is a sign of a bigger merger to come in the future will be interesting to see, but given Instagram's popularity, it seems unlikely that the platforms will be merged into some form of 'super' Facebook app.
Pages & Groups may be closed before they full violate policy
With all the recent 'fake news' and click baiting that has been coming through the Facebook platform, they've decided to tighten up their protocols by adding a 'Page Quality' tab. This tab will basically tell you as a page owner if your content is being removed or demoted because it is false, partially false, or has a false headline. The idea behind it is to eliminate more misleading content from the platform. In addition to this, the site is going to start banning Pages which are being used to share content that has originally been pulled from the site. For example, if you have two pages and one page is banned or has a post removed, this new policy means you really shouldn't then go and share that same content on the other page. They are calling these 'proactive removals'.
"Scam" button may be on the way
After seeing a few celebrities faces being used by scam posts on Facebook, the company has responded by announcing they will be aiming to launch a scam reporting button to posts - initially in the UK. Again, this whole roll-out of announcements certainly seems to be targeted at improving the trustworthiness of posts on the site.
Run your petitions through Facebook
In an attempt to be seen as more of a platform for social good, Facebook has announced a new feature called "Community Actions". If you have a cause for good, you'll be able to create that cause in Community Actions, tag relevant authorities & government bodies, and the public will be able to one click "Support" that cause, as well as run discussions etc within it. Like alot of things these days, the company will be testing the service in the USA and we'll be curious to see how well they are able to moderate the Community Actions that are posted. Will this just become another feature used negatively by the internet?
SUMMARY: How does this all affect your business?
Like most changes in the online space these days, the changes that Facebook are looking to bring quality to their product. Trustworthiness and reliability are the main focus, so if you continue to create genuine, original and truthful content, then you won't need to worry too much about the changes impacting your page.