Thousands of developers and industry experts descended upon San Jose last week for Facebook’s annual developer conference known as F8.
CPC Strategy was in attendance, and we’ve put together a quick recap of F8 of what you need to know.
Empowering Users to Clear History
In a continued bid to offer users more control over their privacy, Facebook announced plans for allowing users to delete their history.
The “Clear History” feature will allow users to see data collected based on the content they have clicked on and websites that they have visited — and allow them to “clear” that information.
In addition to viewing and clearing personal history data, users will also have the option of disabling their account history altogether.
Mark Zuckerberg has compared this feature to “clearing the cookies” of a web browser.
The full impact this will have on advertisers and audience targeting on Facebook remains to be seen, but first impressions indicate significant effect on the ability to retarget those that regularly use this feature.
“From a marketing standpoint, users that clear their history are going to become more difficult to target using the Pixel. From a user standpoint, users are going to get less relevant ads and maybe a detrimental ad experience. Users that decide to delete their history may find themselves removed from your retargeting Pixel.”
-Nii Ahene, Cofounder and COO, CPC Strategy
Stories “on Track to Surpass Feeds” on Social Media
Stories are one of the fastest growing segments across all social media, and Facebook plans to expand its integration with this format.
For the uninitiated, “Stories” are short, live, unedited video clips that became popularized by Snapchat in 2014, adopted by Instagram in 2016, and Facebook and Whatsapp in 2017.
Stories have now catapulted to front and center as a major segment of Facebook’s growth.
For marketers, Facebook’s planned expansion of this segment means that it will only become more important in the future.
Updates to Stories include:
- New ways for sharing from 3rd party apps like Spotify & Instagram
- More editing options and faster integration
- Possible integration with GoPro cameras via Instagram
For more info, check out the Day 1 recap here.
Nii Ahene says,
“Like most things, advertisers are slow to adopt new mediums. If time spent in these new ad units is increasing, and there aren’t many advertisers there, it means that costs are low and it’s a great opportunity to get in front of more users. ”
Facebook Ranking Algorithm & “Trustworthiness” Unpacked
Facebook also announced a ranking system for news organizations based on trustworthiness.
The social media platform will use “user surveys” to determine news outlets that are trusted, and others that are not.
Mark Zuckerberg also pledged that the company is investing “billions” of dollars in AI-powered technology and human moderators to reduce misinformation and political polarization on the social media network.
The announcement follows major changes to its algorithm this January, which signal a continued effort to crack down on disinformation and favor authentic user content. Nii Ahene says that transparency is an opportunity for marketers,
“Facebook is taking a cue from Google to curate content based on a metric of relevance, or trust. This transparency is an opportunity for advertisers to better understand the algorithm and optimize.“
You can expect a more detailed post from CPC Strategy detailing Facebook’s ranking algorithm in the near future.
Rolling Out More Features for WhatsApp Business
In response to rival messenger apps Line and WeChat, Facebook continues to expand the features of WhatsApp’s Business. With over 3 million active users since launching this January, WhatsApp business is fast evolving into a popular business communications platform.
New features and ongoing updates to WhatsApp Business will continue to be rolled out this year:
- Messaging Tools
- WhatsApp Web
- Account Types
Facebook is investing more than ever into the encrypted messenger app and expanding its tools for small businesses.
“Over the next five years we’re focused on building out the business ecosystems around our apps like Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger” stated Zuckerberg.
Nii Ahene says,
“Younger demographics rather communicate through a messenger. Extending business profiles beyond Messenger and into WhatsApp is an answer to that shift. Facebook is becoming the Yellow Pages in a lot of ways; owning the relationship between consumers and businesses.“
Messenger is Getting a New Design, AR, and Business Features
Messenger’s 1.3 billion users will soon begin noticing design changes and AR coming to Facebook’s messaging app.
Zuckerberg stated that there is going to be a focus on making messenger to a more simple and clean experience that isn’t bogged down by apps and games.
“When you’re messaging, you really want a fast and simple experience. We’re taking this moment to completely redesign Messenger to focus on these ideas.”
Facebook is also bringing augmented reality (AR) to Messenger that will allow businesses to integrate new camera features and interactive shopping to the messaging experience.
David Marcus, VP of Messaging Products, expanded on Messenger AR in an official update,
“With this launch, businesses can easily integrate AR into their Messenger experience, bringing the virtual and physical worlds one step closer together. So, when a person interacts with your business in Messenger, you can prompt them to open the camera, which will be pre-populated with filters and AR effects that are specific to your brand.”
The potential for brands to integrate augmented reality into Messenger poses exciting possibilities for many verticals and the customer experience in general.
Nii Ahene says,
“Facebook is betting heavily that Oculus and AR are going to be big in the next 3-5 years. In this keynote, there was a shoe drop, where shoppers could interact and buy the shoe through Messenger AR. It’s a next-gen shopping experience. I still see adoption as a major challenge, so time will tell if this becomes more mainstream.”
Facebook Launches “Analytics on the Go” for Mobile
Facebook released its first-ever analytics app just before the start of this year’s F8.
The Facebook Analytics App will allow businesses to measure key metrics for their businesses right from their phone. This includes growth, engagement, conversions, alerts, and more.
The new app will allow businesses to:
- Personalize their overview tab and prioritize metrics
- Create and import dashboards from desktop analytics
- Browse relevant business insights
- Set up notifications for data anomalies
That wraps up our biggest updates from this year’s Facebook F8.
Privacy controls and other measures will continue to impact marketing on the social network for years to come.
However, marketers should see expansions for Stories, Messenger, WhatsApp, Analytics and AR as potential opportunities to better reach tomorrow’s customers.
Want to learn more about Facebook’s recent updates?
Check out our posts regarding Facebook’s View Ads Feature or 4 Ways The Facebook Watch Monetization Update Helps Video Creators.