Explore the latest in Facebook updates where brand owners, marketers, and content creators gain fresh insights for digital success.
Marketers and brand owners, imagine always being a step ahead in the Facebook ads game. No more crawling the internet for bits and pieces of the latest Facebook updates or, worse, hearing from a friend who heard from a friend. This blog brings all the top Facebook updates straight to your fingertips… so you always stay in the know!
January 2024 Facebook updates
Facebook's new 'Link History' and the future of targeted ads
The latest buzz in the digital streets revolves around Facebook's groundbreaking rollout of Link History. This feature, designed to archive users' browsing patterns, could be a game-changer for businesses and marketers looking to refine their targeted advertising strategies.
Why is this a welcomed change?
As the digital advertising industry grapples with the impending demise of cookies and the tightening grip of privacy regulations, the introduction of Facebook's Link History signifies an opportunity for advertisers to adapt and leverage a trusted third-party source for more targeted and compliant advertising strategies.
This dynamic tool, designed to catalog users' website visits, unlocks a wealth of user behavior data for Meta advertisers to tap into. It holds the promise to enhance Facebook ad targeting precision and effectiveness.
Users can opt-out, but Link History comes pre-enabled (🍻), granting Meta insights into users' website visits over the last 30 days. This opens a golden opportunity for marketers to leverage the data to create more personalized and targeted advertising, providing a potential workaround amid the escalating privacy concerns.
How Link History works:
Link History tracks users' website visits through the Facebook mobile browser for Android and iOS over the last 30 days. It specifically stores links the user has tapped on within Facebook's mobile browser, excluding those visited within Messenger chats.
Turning Link History on or off:
- Click on any link inside the Facebook app to open Facebook's mobile browser
- Tap the three little dots on the bottom right
- Then select Go to settings
- Toggle the switch beside "Allow Link History" to on or off
If a user turns it off, their link history is instantly cleared, making their visited links invisible. Meta commits to not saving or using the link history to enhance ads across its technologies when the feature is turned off.
When can we expect it?
The feature is gradually making its debut and might not be available in your location just yet. Although Meta hasn't shared a specific timeline for the global rollout of the Link History archive option, it's expected to expand its reach to mobile users worldwide. Importantly, this feature is exclusive to mobile devices and is not yet available on desktops.
December 2023 Facebook updates
Meta unveils powerful AI updates
Meta recently introduced revolutionary updates to its core AI features. Let's explore how AI can reshape digital interactions and foster business growth across the Meta family of apps.
Ignite creative collaboration with Meta AI's image features:
Meta AI continues to redefine social interactions with its innovative features. Among these, the widely used 'imagine' function, known for its text-to-image capabilities, has now evolved into 'reimagine' on Messenger and Instagram. This exciting addition transforms image creation into a collaborative and entertaining experience.
In group chats, Meta AI generates the initial image as per your request, and the fun begins as users can press and hold down the picture to contribute their creative flair. Using a simple text prompt, Meta AI generates an entirely new image, allowing you to engage in a delightful exchange of visually amusing ideas.
This not only enhances the social aspect of Meta AI but also provides an excellent avenue for businesses to create engaging and shareable organic content for free.
That’s not all. . .
Building on the success of this launch, access is now expanding beyond chats. If you're in the US, head to imagine.meta.com, where you’ll be able to create free images on the web as well.
Immersive advertising experiences with Reels in Meta AI:
Reels, known for connecting users with dynamic content, are making their way into Meta AI chats.
This presents a golden opportunity for advertisers, allowing them to showcase products and services through immersive visual content. Whether users are seeking specific services or exploring new products, businesses now have the chance to have their Reels dynamically suggested to their audience, creating a more captivating and interactive experience.
For businesses, this means increased visibility to their target audience. It emphasizes the importance of investing in high-quality, authentic video content to stand out and avoid delivering lackluster visuals.
Consider leveraging affordable creative production services like Sparkle to enhance your video quality. With a team of design professionals, Sparkle offers a 7-day Free Trial to test their services and elevate your brand's visual presence.
Enhancing brand expression and engagement on Facebook:
Meta AI's integration into Facebook opens up a plethora of possibilities for business owners. From crafting personalized greetings to refining Feed posts and creating compelling introductions for new Groups, there’s room for businesses to use Meta AI to enhance their brand expression and customer engagement.
November 2023 Facebook updates
More ways to create content on Instagram
Meta constantly innovates to provide creators and brand owners with the best tools to express their creativity and engage with their audience.
They have recently announced several enhancements to reels, feed photos, carousels, and stories, along with new insights to help creators understand their content performance better.
Here are the key updates 👇
1. More “memeable” content: Create more viral-worthy content by adding audio clips to your reels. This feature allows you to pull clips with audio from the Instagram clip hub and incorporate them into your Reel. Connect with fans by encouraging them to join the fun by crafting their remixes.
On top of that, they have introduced 10 new English text-to-speech voices for you to choose from, available in select countries. You can explore your creativity with 6 additional text fonts and styles, now accessible in hundreds of languages.
To add a personal touch to your Reels and stories, Meta is experimenting with a cool feature. You might soon be able to create your stickers using photos and videos from your phone or any Instagram posts that catch your eye.
This creative feature is powered by insights from their Segment Anything AI model.
They’ve also just dropped brand-new photo filters. Now, you can curate the perfect vibe for your photos and carousels. You can do anything from subtle color tweaks to bold and expressive styles.
These updates give you the freedom to experiment with different looks for your posts. Your new brand aesthetic could be just a filter away 😉
2. Even more insights:
For all the dataheads, Meta's helping you understand better how your Reels are doing. They’ve added a new Reels metric called ‘Replays’ on Facebook and Instagram. Plus, they’ve tweaked the definition of Reels Plays to include Replays along with Initial Plays.
Ad-free subscription in Europe: Facebook & Instagram
Meta has just dropped a bombshell by introducing an ad-free paid subscription service in Europe.
Since November 2023, users in the European Union, the European Economic Area (EEA), and Switzerland have been able to pay a monthly fee to enjoy Meta’s products (Facebook and Instagram) minus the ads.
Why is Meta taking this step?
As we know, Meta's main revenue stream is advertising. However, the landscape is shifting, especially in the European Union, where privacy and data protection rights are gaining prominence.
The European Court of Justice has already reprimanded Meta's data harvesting methods, prompting the need for a solution. Hence, the birth of the ad-free paid subscription.
One thing to note is that if users in Europe choose to use Facebook and Instagram without ads, their data will not be collected and used for advertising purposes.
How will this affect Meta advertisers?
It is too soon to say. It hinges on whether global regulators accept this compromise as meeting user requirements and the number of users opting for the ad-free subscription.
If accepted, the comprise is expected to enable Meta to continue targeted advertising. A rejection, on the other hand, will prompt Meta to explore alternative solutions.
What’s the likelihood of users opting out?
Well, let’s look at it this way: YouTube’s premium subscription, launched in 2015, gathered 80 million subscribers out of 2.8 billion users by 2022. That’s only 3% of their user base.
As Facebook and Instagram are more similar to X and Snapchat than YouTube, you might expect a similar (0.2%-1%) adoption rate among Meta’s users. While the future is uncertain, these stats indicate that the vast majority of users won’t be budging 😏
So, what's it going to cost users?
Meta currently offers this subscription at €9.99/month on the web and €12.99/month on iOS and Android, considering the fees imposed by Apple and Google.
But here's the kicker – starting March 1, 2024, Meta plans to add an extra €6/month on the web and €8/month on iOS and Android for each additional account. It's time to weigh the cost of an ad-free experience against the annoyance of targeted ads.
October 2023 Facebook updates
Multiple accounts coming to WhatsApp
Business owners, you’re going to love this update. You know how you couldn’t have your personal and business WhatsApp accounts logged in simultaneously? That’s a thing of the past.
With this latest WhatsApp update, you can easily switch between accounts – such as your work and personal – without having to log out each time, carry two phones, or worse, worry about messaging from the wrong number 😩
To set up a second account, you need a second phone number and SIM card or a multi-SIM phone or eSIM.
👉 Open your WhatsApp settings
👉 Tap on the arrow next to your name
👉 Then click on ’Add account’
New broadcast channels: Facebook and Messenger
Mark Zuckerberg recently shared that broadcast channels are coming to Facebook and Messenger, and they are expected to launch any week now.
Following its success, this powerful one-to-many messaging tool is finally expanding to Facebook and Messenger, too.
Why is this a score for marketers and brand owners?
- Increased engagement: People who manage Facebook Pages can start broadcast channels to engage more deeply with their followers. This can help followers feel even more connected to your brand.
- Amplified communication: This can be useful for businesses to share updates, voice notes, exclusive content, promotions, and more with their community.
- Wider reach: Since broadcast channels are designed for more public conversations, they can be found and joined by anyone on Facebook or Messenger. This can help businesses attract new potential customers.
- Instant feedback: Use polls for community input and the reaction feature to gauge audience sentiment, preferences, opinions, or satisfaction levels with your products or services.
- Increased insights: Businesses can also monitor the engagement on their broadcast channels, such as the number of views, likes, shares, etc., to understand what type of content resonates with their audience.
How it works:
If you manage a Page on Facebook in a market where broadcast channels are available, you can start a channel directly from your Page or inbox on both mobile and desktop.
Once the broadcast channel has been created and the first message is sent, followers of your Page will receive a notification to join the channel.
Your channel is open for anyone on Facebook to discover, offering endless opportunities to expand your audience. As the channel's creator, you have exclusive messaging rights, but members can react to messages and participate in polls.
If you manage a Facebook Page in a market where broadcast channels are not available yet, join the waitlist to know when the feature is available to you.
Joining a broadcast channel:
You'll be notified upon receiving an invitation to join a Page's broadcast channel on Facebook or Messenger. You then have the option to review the content before joining.
✔️Click the desired channel in the notification.
✔️Click ‘Join channel.’
Your joined broadcast channels will be visible in the Messenger chats list. For easy access to all channels associated with a Page, visit the Page's profile and tap on ‘Channels.’
Updates to data display in Events Manager, Ads Manager, and Business Manager
Meta has introduced gradual changes to simplify the way you check your event data in Meta Events Manager, Meta Ads Manager, and Meta Business Manager. These changes involve merging website, app, and offline events into a unified view called a dataset.
Previously, handling event data meant dealing with separate IDs for each integration. Now, thanks to datasets, you can effortlessly collect and arrange event data from different sources all in one location in Events Manager.
This simplifies event monitoring and settings management, eliminating the hassle of dealing with multiple IDs.
How datasets work:
When you create a dataset, it’s assigned a unique dataset ID. This ID can be used to set up integrations and view your events in the Events Manager. You can ensure continuity and a seamless transition by linking your existing pixel or app ID to the dataset ID.
Datasets offer a double advantage. Firstly, they simplify viewing customer activity tailored to your business needs, consolidating data from various sources like your website, app, and offline events under one dataset ID.
Secondly, datasets make managing multiple API integrations less complex. Rather than requiring different API integrations for your website, mobile app, and offline data, creating a dataset and linking your app allows you to use the Conversions API to seamlessly connect all your data sources. This eliminates the need for multiple API integrations.
Meta Advantage: Using AI and automation to drive ROI
In the last few months, you might have noticed Meta sharing more about boosting advertiser performance with AI through automated products like Advantage+ shopping campaigns.
But did you know they have a whole suite of these automated ad products called Meta Advantage?
Meta Advantage is a suite of products using AI and machine learning to optimize campaign results, personalize ads, and make advertising more efficient. Let's explore the several Meta Advantage products to understand their key benefits and when to use them.
Advantage+ Shopping Campaigns
This is an end-to-end AI-powered ads product that simplifies and automates the creation of advertising campaigns. It’s used for direct-to-consumer advertisers within eCommerce and retail and other verticals like CPG, Technology, or Entertainment.
When sales are your primary objective, and you want to grow your customer base efficiently, this product is for you.
🔥 Recent tests show a 32% increase in return on ad spend for Advantage+ shopping campaigns. It’s worth noting, however, that these campaigns currently don’t exclude warm audiences. Excluding warm audiences from acquisition campaigns is generally recommended for sustained growth.
We suggest not relying exclusively on these campaigns if your focus is on acquisition to ensure a more balanced advertising strategy.
Advantage+ App Campaigns
This is for maximizing the performance of your app install campaigns with less effort. They use machine learning to deliver higher-performing creative to more relevant audiences on more effective placements.
If you’re looking to scale app installs, target audiences likely to convert, and boost sales or in-app purchases, this automation tool is ideal.
🔥 Bolt, a European transport app, reduced its cost per app install by up to 23% with Advantage+ App Campaigns.
This is an innovative tool designed to revolutionize your ad creative elements. Using the power of AI, Advantage+ Creative provides a range of features that enhance and optimize your ads.
One of its key features is the ‘Standard Enhancements,’ which helps advertisers adjust brightness, aspect ratios, and text placement.
When you have limited creative resources and need quick, automatic improvements that resonate with your audience, this automation is a no-brainer.
🔥 Italian fashion retailer Miriade experimented with the standard enhancements feature bundled within Advantage+ Creative. They saw a remarkable 56% reduction in the cost per purchase compared to their regular campaigns.
Advantage+ Catalog Ads
Formerly known as Dynamic Ads, Advantage+ Catalog Ads showcase a variety of ad creatives for products and services.
They save you from setting up 1,000 ad sets manually. Instead, they automatically deliver personalized catalog ads to people interested in your business.
Supercharge your campaign's performance by incorporating Advantage+ Catalog Ads into your Advantage+ Shopping Campaigns. This optimization is particularly beneficial for advertisers in eCommerce, retail, CPG, travel, automotive, and real estate who sell multiple products.
This tool is designed to enhance campaign performance and deliver ads to your target audience more effectively. By combining AI automation with your business's customer insights, this feature provides both performance and control for advertisers.
Instead of limiting ad delivery to specific audience selections, Advantage+ Audience uses these selections as suggestions to guide ad delivery. This allows the system to explore beyond set targeting parameters, finding people genuinely interested in your products or services.
Advantage+ Audience should be your go-to tool for leveraging the performance gains of targeting automation while maintaining manual control over certain aspects like placement or creatives.
For advertisers preferring Meta's original targeting products, there are three options to enhance ad results through smarter targeting:
- Advantage detailed targeting: Ideal for prospecting, it uses interest, behavior, and demographic inputs to reach a broader audience when system analysis suggests improved performance.
- Advantage custom audience: This tool retargets people in custom audience lists while reaching new potential customers likely to convert.
- Advantage lookalike: Best for pure prospecting, it reaches people unfamiliar with your brand.
These three targeting products are included in Advantage+ Audience, offering flexibility and improved campaign performance.
🔥 On average, businesses using Advantage+ audience saw a 28% decrease in average Cost per Click, Lead, or Landing Page View.
New generative AI features for advertisers
Meta recently unveiled a new suite of generative AI features tailored especially for advertisers and brand owners 🔥
With these new Facebook updates, brands can craft dynamic backgrounds, enhance images, and produce various ad text versions derived from their original content. This exciting reveal comes on the heels of the recent Meta Connect event.
Not only did the event spotlight the debut of the Quest 3 mixed-reality headset, but it also introduced us to a range of innovative AI offerings, from unique stickers and advanced editing utilities to cutting-edge AI-driven smart glasses.
Let’s break down these exciting new features…
- Background generation: The first of the new Meta features allows advertisers to switch up their creative assets by generating multiple different backgrounds for the product images. Although similar to the consumer-centric ‘Backdrop’ tool, the ad toolkit backgrounds complement your initial product images, allowing you to tailor your creative assets for different audiences.
Just note that this feature is available to advertisers who use the Advantage+ catalog to create sales ads.
- Image expansion: Stepping up their game, this feature is all about giving advertisers an adaptability edge. Whether you're looking to fit the creative asset into the dimensions of a feed post or Reels, this tool doesn't just reshape—it transforms.
You can access this feature within Meta's ads manager.
- Text variations: You can now feed in your ad text and watch as the AI whips up multiple text spin-offs, each tailored to spotlight the keywords and phrases you deem essential. Not feeling the AI’s take? You have the freedom to tweak or cherry-pick the versions that you prefer.
Meta goes a step further, testing the waters by serving different text combos to varied audiences, gauging which resonates the most. A heads up, though – while this approach hints at better ad outcomes, Meta refrains from breaking down performance by text variation. The focus remains on collective ad performance. Still, by testing multiple ad variations, advertisers increase their chances of hitting that sweet ad success spot, as Meta points out.
Meta has shared that after an initial trial with a select group of advertisers earlier this year, the evidence suggests that these AI tools could potentially save them upwards of 5 hours weekly, amounting to a savings of a month annually. So, if you're not employing the power of AI in your marketing endeavors, it's high time to ask yourself: What am I waiting for? AI is not just a buzzword or a fad; we can use it to transform and elevate our creative production. It’s all about crafting smarter ads that resonate and convert, after all.
September 2023 Facebook updates
New AI experiences for users
Meta is raising the bar yet again, redefining how we connect, create, and interact online. With these Meta Facebook updates, not only are advertisers on Meta’s platforms primed for a richer, more immersive engagement with their audiences, but consumers also enjoy an enhanced experience with the brands. Here’s a glimpse into the exciting updates 👇
The rise of AI stickers
Stickers have become integral to our online conversations, allowing billions to express themselves in fun and innovative ways. To elevate this experience, Meta has launched AI stickers. Harnessing the power of their Llama 2 technology and the Emu (Expressive Media Universe) image generation model, these stickers are not your regular emojis.
Input a text prompt, and within moments, you'll have a variety of unique stickers tailored to your current mood. Set to roll out to select English users across platforms like WhatsApp, Messenger, Instagram, and Facebook Stories, this feature is going to take our online banter to a whole new level!
Image editing with AI
Prepare to reimagine your photos with AI-driven editing tools. The 'Restyle' feature, powered by Emu technology, allows you to transform your images based on descriptive prompts. Want your photos to exude a nostalgic 90s Polaroid aesthetic? Simply type in your vision and watch it come to life quicker than a real Polaroid picture! Want to transform a photo into a watercolor wonder? It’s as easy as typing it in.
The Backdrop feature, another marvel from the Meta labs, alters your image backgrounds as per your desires. Imagine standing in a lush forest, feeling the serenity enveloping you, or being surrounded by a pack of cute puppies. The Backdrop feature whisks you away on an escape, all from the comfort of your phone. Your dream setting is just a prompt away!
Meta AI: Your AI digital assistant
Breaking new ground is Meta AI, a new assistant you can interact with like a human, available on WhatsApp, Messenger, and Instagram. Plus, it’s coming soon to Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses and Quest 3. Be it accessing real-time information or generating images based on text, Meta AI is redefining our digital interactions, allowing us to learn, plan, and connect. Group chats can evolve into collaborative decision-making hubs.
So, how does this fit into your life? Let’s look at a scenario 👇
Imagine you're planning a surprise birthday party for a friend who's obsessed with the '80s. As you and your group discuss theme ideas in the chat, Meta AI proactively suggests classic '80s music playlists, popular movie posters from the era for decoration inspiration, and even fun retro games to consider. Looking for a unique digital invite? Just type "@MetaAI /imagine" followed by a request like "create an invite that looks like an '80s rock concert ticket." In seconds, you'll have the perfect digital invitation ready to send out to all the guests.
AI celebrity bots
Beyond just question-answer bots, Meta has introduced 28 distinctive AIs, each boasting a vibrant personality. And in a stroke of brilliance, some of these AIs are personified by cultural icons and influencers like Snoop Dogg, Kendall Jenner, and Tom Brady. Users in the U.S. can now message these iconic AIs on platforms like WhatsApp, Messenger, and Instagram. Pretty cool, isn’t it?
However, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Meta promises more in the pipeline, including AIs backed by Bear Grylls, Chloe Kim, and many others. While these AIs might currently reference pre-2023 information, there are plans to continually update their knowledge base, making interactions timely and relevant.
What’s coming next for Meta?
Meta's ambition doesn't stop here. With the introduction of the AI studio, both coding enthusiasts and novices are invited to shape the future of AI. The platform will soon be open for third-party AI development, first on Messenger and eventually on WhatsApp.
Furthermore, businesses, whether starting up or established, can craft AIs mirroring their brands to enhance customer experiences. And creators aren't left out; they can develop AIs that extend their virtual presence across Meta’s platforms.
In the coming year, Meta's sandbox will offer enthusiasts a playground to experiment and design their AI entities. As the metaverse unfurls, this sandbox will serve as a bridge, connecting realism, embodiment, and interactivity in unimaginable ways.
Businesses get Meta's seal of authenticity
Buckle up, business owners! In the latest Facebook changes, there's been some buzzing in the Instagram and Facebook updates news. Meta's introduction of "Meta Verified" for creators and businesses represents a significant enhancement to the standard verification system they have had for years.
Here's a breakdown of what's new:
- Subscription model: While the traditional blue tick was a one-off verification, Meta Verified operates on a subscription basis. This ensures ongoing checks and offers more than just a badge.
- Authentic business communication: WhatsApp is allowing businesses to undergo Meta verification. By showcasing their authenticity to Meta, businesses can attain a verified badge, fortifying their credibility. This not only increases customer trust but, from an advertiser's perspective, can significantly elevate brand perception.
- Toolkit access: Verified entities don't just get a badge; they now get a suite of tools and features. This includes proactive monitoring against impersonation, dedicated support, and additional discovery methods.
- Enhanced discoverability: One of the most significant benefits for businesses is enhanced visibility. Subscribers will feature prominently in search results and get recommendations, thus potentially driving more organic engagement.
- Multi-platform approach: Meta's intention to expand this feature to WhatsApp and provide unique tools (like a custom WhatsApp page) shows their commitment to integrating their various platforms under this new verification system.
- Security and authenticity: Meta ensures that businesses undergo a rigorous verification process, including multi-step verification and ongoing checks. This is likely to provide a higher level of confidence in the authenticity of verified accounts.
If you’re still not convinced of the importance of the blue tick, here are a few benefits for your brand. Pull in closer…
- Guarding the fort: You’ll have a proactive measure to safeguard you against brand impersonation. Who wants copycat accounts? Not only are they misleading, but they also dilute your brand's unique identity and trustworthiness.
- Instant support: Experiencing account hitches? Meta’s got your back. You’ll have first-class access to support and troubleshooting help.
In the coming weeks, businesses active on Instagram and Facebook in certain countries will be privileged to test the waters first. And that's not all! WhatsApp will soon join this blue tick brigade, too. This Meta Facebook update aims to provide an unmatched advantage to businesses, allowing them to be more visible and instill confidence in their customers.
Okay, let’s talk
This blue tick starts at a modest $21.99/month for either Facebook or Instagram. For both platforms, $34.99/month is the inclusive tag.
WhatsApp's convenience revolution
WhatsApp is not just evolving; it's reinventing the wheel for user-business interactions. Let’s unpack these groundbreaking updates and their implications for the advertising world.
1. Seamless interactions with Flows:
‘Flows’ is a promising introduction to WhatsApp, facilitating activities such as choosing train seats, food orders, or scheduling appointments without leaving the chat interface. It’s the epitome of convenience! This feature allows businesses to design rich menus and customizable forms catering to diverse requirements.
This new feature also acts as a sales funnel, guiding users through steps or decisions. The seamless experience it offers can potentially reduce friction points, which often hinder conversions 💰
2. Easy payments, directly in chat:
Gone are the days of navigating to external sites for payment. WhatsApp is simplifying the transaction process by embedding it within the chat. Initially rolled out in India, users can add items to their carts and proceed to payment, choosing from supported UPI apps, credit/debit cards, and more.
For advertisers, this could reduce cart abandonment and create a more cohesive customer purchase journey.
WhatsApp Channels: A new era of personalized updates
While WhatsApp Channels might not be a traditional advertising route, they offer businesses a more personal way to connect with and update customers.
Here's why they’re valuable:
- Direct communication: WhatsApp Channels provide advertisers with a direct line of communication with their followers. This benefits businesses looking to disseminate product updates, news, special offers, and more. Think of it as a friend shooting you a quick text to tell you about a deal you can’t afford to miss!
- Private environment: In a time when privacy is top of consumers' minds, the emphasis on privacy with WhatsApp Channels ensures they feel secure. They know their information is protected, and since they've proactively chosen to follow specific channels, it indicates a genuine interest and trust in the content being delivered.
- Engagement metrics: The introduction of reactions, even if anonymized, provides a measure of engagement. Advertisers can gauge how well their updates are received and create future content based on feedback.
- Forwarding feature: The ability to forward an Update with a link back to the channel can contribute to organic growth. When content is shared, it has the potential to attract new followers to your channel.
- Editing ability: Advertisers can edit their Updates for up to 30 days. This flexibility can be crucial for correcting errors or updating offers/promotions.
- Targeted audience: The Enhanced Directory feature filters channels based on the consumer’s country. Advertisers can use this to tailor their messaging to specific regional audiences.
- Future potential: WhatsApp Channels were initially launched in 10 countries. However, Meta mentions that they'll make it possible for "anyone to create a channel" over the coming months. This opens doors for all sizes of businesses, from local stores to multinational corporations, to leverage this feature for outreach.
So, are you ready to tap into the personal touch that WhatsApp Channels bring to the table?
August 2023 Facebook updates
Threads: A new way to share with text
While it might not be the freshest Meta update on the block, Threads is too exceptional not to revisit!
Remember the times when sharing meant more than just posting photos and videos? When words could create an environment, paint a picture, or stir emotions? Well, Instagram reminisces about those days, too, which is why they introduced Threads. This is a space solely dedicated to sharing via text.
Here’s a detailed walk-through of what to expect:
- Effortless integration with Instagram: The transition from Instagram to Threads is as seamless as it gets. Use your Instagram credentials to log into Threads, and should you wish to, customize your profile specifically for Threads. This new textual universe fills your feed with Threads by the people you admire, intermingled with suggestions you wouldn’t want to miss.
- Expanding expressions beyond limits: With Threads, constraints are a thing of the past. Posts can span up to 500 characters, providing ample space for your thoughts to breathe. Moreover, for those moments when words fall short, links, photos, and even videos (up to 5 minutes) come to the rescue.
Sharing on Threads is also not limited to the platform itself. With just a click, send your thoughts from Threads to your Instagram story or even beyond to other platforms of your choice.
A goldmine for advertisers 💰
Threads offers a fresh and distinctive approach. But how does this unique platform benefit advertisers? Let's take a look:
- A new channel for engagement: With its focus on text and conversation, Threads provides advertisers with an opportunity to engage users more intimately and directly. Unlike image-heavy platforms, where the visual may sometimes overshadow the message, Threads brings content to the forefront, allowing for deeper engagement.
- Branded content opportunity: While Threads might not be leaning into traditional ads at the moment, they are allowing ‘branded content.’ This will enable brands to integrate their messaging more organically. Rather than intrusive ads, branded content can resonate more authentically with consumers.
- Innovative ad formats: The text-centric nature of Threads offers a canvas for advertisers to experiment with innovative ad formats, from interactive polls and quizzes to immersive storytelling campaigns.
- Direct feedback loop: Threads promote active conversations. For advertisers, this means direct and immediate feedback from their audience. Campaigns can be tweaked in real time based on user responses, ensuring maximum efficacy.
- Interoperable features: With Threads moving towards compatibility with ActivityPub and other platforms, advertisers could potentially reach a broader audience beyond just Threads users. This interoperability translates to more eyes on the content and, thus, enhanced reach.
- Brand authenticity: In a space that emphasizes genuine conversations, brands have the opportunity to showcase their authentic voice. This creates stronger brand loyalty and trust among users.
- Integrated shopping experience: Just as Threads seamlessly integrates with Instagram, any shopping or e-commerce features from Instagram can be smoothly transitioned into Threads. This allows advertisers to create a holistic consumer shopping experience, bridging the gap between engagement and conversion.
AudioCraft: Meta’s new AI music generation tool
We’ve stumbled upon something that’s music to our ears — literally! 🎵
AudioCraft, the AI brainchild of Meta, is designed to generate high-quality, realistic audio and music from text similar to how you would prompt ChatGPT. I can almost hear you thinking, “How is this relevant to us marketers and brand owners?” Well, allow me to connect the dots…
AudioCraft consists of a family of three models: MusicGen, AudioGen, and EnCodec. MusicGen, developed using music specifically licensed by Meta, produces music based on your text prompts. AudioGen, trained with common sound effects such as dog barks, car honks, and footsteps, generates these types of sounds based on your text prompts.
So, let's say you want to roll out a Meta ad for your newest sneaker line. You’ve got the visuals down. But something is missing: the perfect background tune. With MusicGen, you can simply input a prompt like "chilled hip hop beats," and voilà, you’ve got a piece of music that captures the spirit of your ad!
Below is the simple process of generating your music and sound effects:
EnCodec is more of a supporting tool that ensures that all your generated audio, whether music or sound effects is top-notch. It compresses the audio without compromising its quality, making sure the sounds you hear are as clear and vivid as the original idea.
Why is this so exciting? Well, we no longer need to scavenge through expensive music libraries or settle for generic tunes. For business owners, this means upping their ad game without breaking the bank on professional audio production. For us marketers, it’s an exciting tool in our arsenal to craft better stories and engage with our audiences. After all, in the world of marketing, it's not just about being heard; it's about striking the right chords.
How does AI affect your Meta experience?
Do you know how Facebook magically knows what content you might like? It's all about AI predictions! They've got this thing where they guess if you'll share a post or find it interesting, and then bam, it's on your feed.
With the recent Meta updates, they’re spilling the beans on how AI shapes your feed. But why does this matter for brands and marketers like us?
1. More control, more clarity
You know when you're scrolling on Facebook and wonder, "Why am I seeing this ad?" With the latest Meta updates, they’re expanding their “Why Am I Seeing This?” feature. Now, not only can you get the lowdown on why you’re seeing a post or a Reel, but you can also find out more about why you’re seeing certain ads. With transparency on the rise, we may need to revisit our targeting strategies.
Now, if the news of Facebook ads updates makes you nervous as a digital marketer, here’s a list of pros and cons for your peace of mind:
- Brand trust - When consumers see ads that seem like they've been handpicked just for them, it's like they're being heard, and who doesn't want to engage with a brand that truly “gets” them?
- Direct feedback loop - Understanding why certain ads don’t resonate with consumers (if they opt out or express disinterest) can give marketers valuable intel for adjusting the targeting strategy.
- Authentic engagement - If consumers understand why they’re being served your ad and they're still engaging with your brand, that's a real-deal connection. And hey, the real connections are the ones that usually lead to conversions.
- Increased scrutiny - As consumers become more aware of the reasons behind why they’re served certain ads, advertisers may face increased scrutiny about their targeting methods.
- Potential for opt-out - As consumers become more aware of the strategies behind targeting, they might decide to opt-out or change their settings to avoid seeing such ads in the future.
- Higher expectations - If consumers are consistently seeing ads that resonate with their interests, they might develop even higher expectations for ad relevancy, putting pressure on advertisers to constantly deliver highly relevant content.
Given the rapid evolution of AI and its impact on our digital experiences, you might find yourself pondering its larger role in the marketing sphere. For deeper insights into this, check out our in-depth analysis.
2. Thumbs up… or down
On Instagram, they’re testing out a new feature where consumers can now react to recommended Reels with an “Interested” button. If they vibe with what you’re dishing out, they're set to see more of it. But if it's a miss? They've got the “Not Interested” button on standby. Instant feedback? Score!
For those who love to keep things old school, Facebook is letting users go back to basics with a chronological feed. But, if consumers love your content, there’s the “Show more, Show less” feature, which is available on all posts in Feed, Video, and Reels via the three-dot menu. It's a nifty way to make sure your brand stays on their radar!
This isn’t just a tech update—it's a reminder for us marketers that we need to stay on-point and in sync with our consumers. With these Facebook changes, consumers are in the driver’s seat. Our job is to ensure that our content doesn't just cut it but steals the show.
July 2023 Facebook updates
A new era for Facebook video
Video has always dominated the digital marketing space. As Facebook continues to refine its video features, there are noteworthy opportunities for advertisers and brand owners to take advantage of. With the latest Facebook updates, not only do users get a superior video experience, but marketers too can tap into more dynamic, engaging tools to make thumb-stopping content.
More creative control with Facebook's video editing tools
Facebook started to roll out updates that will bring more Reels editing tools to Feed, making it even easier to create dynamic videos on Facebook.
While these Facebook video enhancements are primarily designed for organic content, there's no doubt that the new features provide independent marketers and smaller brand owners access to high-quality, free tools to craft more engaging and dynamic video ads. The ability to add music, text, and audio clips, record voiceovers, and reduce unwanted noise brings superior sound and visual quality to your videos.
A unified video hub on Facebook
Remember Facebook Watch? Well, it's undergone a makeover, and with these Facebook changes, it is now the 'Video tab.' It's your new hub for all video content on Facebook, be it Reels, long-form videos, or Live content.
The fresh layout lets you scroll vertically through recommended videos tailored just for you. They've also added a horizontal section just for Reels, making it more convenient to immerse yourself in short-form video content.
Why is this a slam dunk for marketers and brand owners?
- Increased discoverability - With all the videos snug in one section, it's easier for people to stumble upon content they didn't initially intend to watch. That's more eyes on your brand content and Facebook ads.
- Tailored recommendations - The personalized feed can recommend brand videos or ads to users based on their interests and behaviors, which can help you achieve bullseye targeting.
- More screen time - With this improved video experience, you can expect people to stick around the platform more. The longer they stay, the higher the chances they'll engage with more content, including branded content or Facebook ads.
- Faster adaptability to trends - You’ll be able to quickly gauge trending video formats, spot what's hot, and craft your content strategy accordingly. Riding trends just got infinitely simpler.
- More visibility - That side-scrolling Reels section? If your Facebook ad or brand story is catchy, it's got a prime spot to get noticed!
Keep an eye out for the Video tab on your app—it'll be on the bottom if you're on an iPhone and up top for Android users. And get this: those tabs you see on the bar? They shuffle around based on what you check out the most on the app. Handy, right?
More discoverability = more reach
Facebook has spruced up its video Explore feature, and it acts like a magnet for trending videos. Now, if you’re pushing out ads, imagine yours sitting among all the trending topics everyone's talking about. Use trendy hashtags and topics, and watch your campaign get the attention it deserves.
Catch Instagram Reels on Facebook
You can now watch and engage with Instagram Reels straight from Facebook. Yep, that's right. This nifty feature means you get your Reels in front of a fresh batch of eyeballs, even if you’re not active on Facebook. You get the best of both Instagram and Facebook Reels in a single platform.
Meta's new playbook
Have you heard the latest on Meta's Responsible Business Practices Report? Especially with the recent Meta updates, it outlines their approach to operating responsibly, which might just change the game for marketers and content creators. There's a chunk of info in there that I believe we can't afford to miss.
They’ve structured their approach around four pillars:
- Operating transparently and sustainably - This is about keeping things ethical and transparent to earn trust and the license to operate globally.
- Empowering our people and partners - Respect and dignity sit at the core here. Whether it's their people or partners in the supply chain, high standards are the name of the game.
- Building responsibly - They aim to design, develop, and continuously improve their products and platform for a safe and inclusive digital experience that improves people’s lives.
- Unlocking the potential for good - This is all about using their platforms to make waves of positive change. Sounds like an open invite for our campaigns to do more than just sell, right?
So, what does this mean for your next ad campaign?
- Data privacy and trust - With Meta going big on transparency, we might need to recalibrate our ad targeting. On the flip side, this helps to build trust in our audiences.
- Content that resonates - It's not just about ads anymore. With Meta shifting towards people-centeredness and content governance, it’s time for us to double down on authentic, meaningful content.
- Design for experience - As Meta tweaks their designs for safety and inclusivity, it might be a hint for us to roll out campaigns that resonate with diverse audiences.
Oh, and speaking of changes, in light of the recent news on Facebook ads, have you checked out that EU Meta policy update? It's a must-read if you want to keep your ads running in the EU and in worldwide campaigns.
Expanding ads on Facebook Reels
Regarding the news on Facebook ads, the recent update to Reels is changing the game for content creators and marketers alike. Here's how:
More opportunities for content creators
Meta is enticing more content creators to hop onto the Facebook Reel ads gravy train. If you’re a content creator, it’s never been a more lucrative time to explore Reels! Not only is Facebook rewarding creators for the sheer performance of their Reels, but with the recent Facebook update, they're done with the traditional model where payouts were based on ad earnings. Now, the spotlight is on engagement.
If you’re a content creator wanting to get in on this action, you must live in one of the 52 countries specified by Meta and meet several minimum requirements.
To check if you’re part of this initial program on Facebook, head over to the Professional Dashboard on Facebook and check out the Monetization Tools section. If you've been selected, there will be an ‘Ads on Reels’ button waiting for you. Give it a tap, follow the onboarding process, and voila! You're all set to start earning from those engaging Reels.
Why is this a win for marketers?
With the focus now being on engagement, content creators’ sole focus will be on creating engaging content. Translation: Your ads could be sandwiched between some top-shelf content! Plus, with an increase in ad inventory, the room for Reels advertising with better rates and even more effective ad placements just got even bigger.
Heads up: This update isn’t just limited to Facebook. A similar performance-based program is being tested on Instagram as well. We’ll keep you posted on this!
Learn more about Ads on Facebook Reels
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Digital copywriter with a passion for sculpting words that resonate in a digital age.