Facebook’s Testing Out a New Tool to Help You Connect with Like-Minded Users

Facebook’s Testing Out a New Tool to Help You Connect with Like-Minded Users | Social Media Today

Facebook’s always looking to boost sharing and interaction on the platform – as The Social Network has noted previously:

Our top priority is keeping you connected to the people, places and things you want to be connected to — starting with the people you are friends with on Facebook.”

Not only does this encourage more engagement (which is a crucial measure for social platform success), but more sharing means more data, and more data means better ad targeting. Facebook needs to facilitate connection in order to fuel their whole business model.

Which is why their latest test makes sense.

According to TechCrunch, Facebook’s rolling out a new “Discover People” option which will enable users to connect with others who are interested in similar things as they are, including upcoming events, people who work at the same company or even those who simply live nearby. The new feature was initially tested in Australia and New Zealand but it’s now in the process of being rolled out more widely.

The new option will be available within the options menu (the three lines) – some users will have access already.

Once selected, you’re prompted to update your profile bio and photo to ensure it’s accurate and up to date. Below that, you’re shown a list of all the events for which you’ve registered an interest in attending – when you click into any of these, you’re shown a listing of other people who will be heading along, and you can click onto any profile for more information.

As you can see, clicking on a profile will show you not only who each attendee is, but also any things you have in common with them, helping facilitate connection.

And as noted, in addition to events, you can also see a listing of work colleagues and people who live in the same area, further adding to the connective capacity of the tool.

It’s an interesting option, and it certainly adds something to the Facebook mix – but is connecting with strangers something Facebook users will warm to?

In the case of events – particularly business related functions – the tool makes some sense, and LinkedIn actually offers similar in their new platform prompts, introduced as part of their recent redesign.

 

 

[Source:- Socialmediatoday]

 

How Will Facebook’s New Algorithm Impact Candidate and Advocacy Group Pages?

Last week Facebook announced that it had once again updated its News Feed algorithm, this time to prioritize our friends’ profile posts over Page posts. What this means is that posts from Pages will be pushed further down on your News Feed, making it less likely you’ll see them. This puts increased pressure on Page owners to get people to directly share their content (as it then comes from a friend) while it also boosts the incentive for Page owners to pay to promote their posts.

And while most of the coverage on this development has focused on the impact this will have on media outlets, virtually nothing has been written on the impact it’ll have on political candidates and advocacy groups.

In response to my initial Facebook post about this change to the News Feed, a fellow traveler in the digital campaign world, Colin Delany of epolitics.com, suggested that the change would be small. But given that Facebook is the biggest driver of traffic for publishers, even a small drop translates into a lot of clicks, and for political candidates in tight races – which would include the Presidential contest between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump – a small drop in traffic could translate into a significant shift in voter support.

Remember, when it comes to presidential elections, it’s the vote within each state that matters for the assignment of Electoral College votes. So in the ever-talked-about swing states, a small shift in the vote could spell doom for the final election results. And for congressional candidates in tight races, the problem is much the same – a slight shift could change the outcome of the election.

You might think that all the campaigners need to do is increase their Facebook ad spending, but the truth is electoral campaign budgets are set at the beginning of the process, and increasing spending on Facebook ads may simply not be possible mid-campaign.

For advocacy groups, while they generally have more budget flexibility, most don’t have any extra budget to spend. And for the smaller groups (which are most of the advocacy groups), relying on direct sharing from their Page and website remains as big a challenge as it ever was.

Facebook’s timing on changing its News Feed algorithm is problematic, not just because of the inflexible candidate budgets and the limited resources of small advocacy groups on the cusp of a national election. Facebook’s come under increased scrutiny in respect to its ability to sway voter behavior. In 2012, Facebook ran an experiment which demonstrated its ability to persuade people to vote. Critics of this experiment noted that Facebook demonstrated its ability to selectively target which voters were shown Get Out the Vote (GOTV) triggers. That’s a lot of power in the hands of a publicly unaccountable private corporation. More recently, Facebook has faced criticism over alleged filtering of conservative news media outlets out of users’ News Feeds. Not surprisingly, these allegations threw gasoline on the fire with respect to criticism of Facebook’s power and bias with respect to politics.

Given both the potential impact that even small changes to the News Feed algorithm can have on the election and advocacy groups – as well as the rising concern that Facebook is wielding a lot of, if not too much, sway in shaping America’s political behavior – we should all take notice. And while Facebook has been talking with campaigns about the impact of the changes, it would still behoove The Social Network to publicly address the impact its News Feed changes will have on the elections and policy advocacy. All this said, in the end how well your Page does will depend on how good your content is and how well you engage your audience (both on your Page and on your website).

 

 

[Source: Social media today]

What Social Media Marketers Need to Know About Facebook’s Instant Articles

What Social Media Marketers Need to Know About Facebook's 'Instant Articles' | Social Media Today

With its new offering “Instant Articles,” Facebook hopes to revolutionize how publishers post content to its network. On April 12th, the company will unveil the new feature on iPhone and Android Facebook apps, allowing publishers to post content (even longform) directly instead of via external links.

What does all this mean for you and your brand? Here are some main points.

Integrated, Innovative Content

Instant Articles aim to achieve on social media what a magazine can in print: a relationship between written and visual content. As well as magazines do this, Facebook’s format is arguably better. Its seamless integration of auto-play videos, tilt-to-enhance photo feature, interactive maps and audio captions top all previous types of articles.

Less Wait Time

When content links to an external source, download time drags on for an average of eight seconds. Unfortunately, that can be long enough for users to lose interest. Since Instant Articles won’t redirect the audience, it will decrease their wait time tenfold. The new speed should keep both users and brands happy with quicker access to information. Plus, blog posts and other longform content can live directly on a Facebook page, which cuts down on the time and energy spent to maintain an external site.

Continued Brand Presence

To support a smooth transition for your brand, Facebook will allow customization in the look and feel of your content, including everything from typeface and layout to the ads that run within. You can even continue with your own analytics, although the new feature will provide its own option.

Potential for Better Results

The few lucky brands that have tested Instant Articles have good things to report. The Washington Post has seen a significant increase in repeat visitors, and LittleThings.com has earned a 15 percent increase in shares. While the latter has acknowledged that the feature may decrease its direct page views, the advertising included in the content makes up for that. See a more in-depth review from The Washington Post and other companies here.
[Source:- Socialmediatoday]