You may have seen the news last week that Facebook announced some new updates to both Facebook and Instagram. So I thought I would give you a quick update on what was said and my take on what that might mean for you.
The Facebook brand and platform now has a slightly new look which is focusing on stories at the top of the page. This bigger focus on stories would make me believe that they want us to do more stories on Facebook. This has been a theme for a while and I think they see the platform becoming more story based. Personally I love stories on Instagram, but for whatever reason I am not keen on Facebook stories and don’t watch them!
Dedicated Groups Tab
You will now see on your mobile app that you have a dedicated tab for the groups that you are in. One of Facebook’s key themes is to use the platform to build community snf groups fit this perfectly. Hence while one of the headlines in their own news article was “Putting Groups First”. Are you currently using Facebook groups? If not, maybe you should think about setting one up.
New Tools For Groups
Facebook have identified that different types of groups need different things, so are now introducing new tools to help. Again they are creating an attractive package for anyone using groups in hope more people do.
“Different communities have different needs, so we’re introducing new features for different types of groups. Through new Health Support groups, members can post questions and share information without their name appearing on a post. Job groups will have a new template for employers to post openings, and easier ways for job seekers to message the employer and apply directly through Facebook. Gaming groups will get a new chat feature so members can create threads for different topics within the group.” Source https://newsroom.fb.com/news/2019/04/f8-2019-day-1/
Meet Friends Feature
This new feature is not that dissimilar to the suggested friends feature we have at the moment . Again I think this is just demonstrating how they are trying to foster more of a community spirit on the platform.
Say what! Yes you heard right Facebook are testing a new dating and relationships feature within the app. You will be able to create a dating profile that is separate from your normal profile. Interesting new feature, not one that I will be using as a happily married woman!
New Events Tab
Coming in the summer this new tab will show you what’s happening around you, including local businesses and can help you plan events with friends.
Instagram Stories Camera
Instagram are introducing a redesigned camera called Create Mode! Their aim is to make it easier to build creative stories from scratch. It is also taking on a more snapchat style format and they are introducing new shopping tags so influencers and celebrities can tag what they are wearing.
Hiding Like Counts
OMG shock horror!! Currently being tested in Canada, it will only show the number of likes on an image to you and not your followers. Their reasoning behind it is that it makes it a less pressurised environment, which personally I don’t think it’s a bad thing! However if you are going to be working with influencers then this will make it harder to see how popular someone is.
“We want people to worry a little bit less about how many likes they’re getting on Instagram and spend a bit more time connecting with the people that they care about,” Adam Mosseri F8, conference.
Selling From Instagram
Before you get super excited this feature is still in Beta testing with no date to go public, however they are testing the ability to sell right from you instagram account. It will work similar to the tagging products feature, but will then take them to product details and then check out.
Messenger was also featured in the conference as they announced a new desktop app for messenger. This will be an interesting development as messenger offers a way to communicate that others like Slack etc don’t, such as group video calls. We could see this being used more in the business space.
The other key area that came out from the conference was the focus on privacy – Facebook have been under fire about this so demonstrated that they are making big strides to improve it. And also they are releasing a Facebook portal which is classed as a smart display for the home/office that you can make video calls through. It obviously has some other smart features like an augmented smart-camera which can auto-zoom and follow people when they move around.
This conference was a big one with lots of cool updates and features coming our way. Personally I think this was Facebook’s way to prove that they are still way ahead of the game and a huge player in this industry. Also from a business point of view I think overall Facebook and Instagram are really pushing community and meaningful interactions. Which in my mind can only be a positive.
Just as a quick heads up!
When they do updates like this not everyone gets everything at the same time – so for instance at the time of writing this I don’t have the new look instagram stories camera, however other people do. So if you don’t have these changes don’t panic I am sure they are on there way!
Let me know what new features you like or don’t like?