Facebook has hit the headlines for the all right reasons this week with their updates, which frankly makes a change after all the adverse publicity in recent years about privacy issues and selling data. We have also got used to talking about their glossier stablemate Instagram, which everybody loves whether they’re 8 or 80, and the ubiquitous WhatsApp.
It’s fair to say that Facebook proper has become a bit staid, although it’s still massively popular and good for marketing (although mainly if you pay for it with Facebook adverts). Globally, the number of users is 1.69 billion with a whopping 44.84 UK residents logging in during the course of March, which was boosted by the lockdown, of course.
Facebook announcements 2020
So, Facebook have shared their recent news and updates, as is usual at this time of year, when they normally hold their annual conference. This year there were two significant announcements- one about their Messenger platform and the other about Facebook Live.
Messenger is getting a makeover with ‘Messenger Rooms’ which gives you the ability to chat on video to up to 50 users. The Facebook messaging is very much pitched at ‘friends and family’, and Facebook say it is not a response to Zoom becoming the default video messaging platform for everything in these lockdown days.
However, as the vast majority of people working from home, have video calls with two or three people at a time, it’s quite possible that Messenger Rooms will pick up a chunk of the ‘work at home’ business (which is most of the business right now) and may become an alternative option for virtual theatre productions, exhibitions and networking.
Facebook say they have addressed the security concerns that were plaguing Zoom (and that have now been been fixed), and also say Rooms will have fun features like virtual backgrounds like Zoom and Microsoft Teams as well as augmented reality (AR) filters, which will presumably be much like Pokemon Go.
Rooms can be created from Messenger or Facebook and you can invite anyone to join, even if they don’t have a Facebook account (which lots of younger people don’t), and in time, the Rooms function will be available on Instagram, WhatsApp and the Facebook Portal smart speaker too.
We think this is quite a positive development for the platform, even if not terribly innovative, and that it will make its way into the marketing comms mix.
The second announcement is the re-introduction of the ‘Live with’ feature, which means that you will be able to invite guests to a live broadcast and stream to your audience.
The marketing possibilities are endless in terms of bringing on a new guest speaker, interviewing a colleague or an industry expert, or to do a joint presentation with somebody. AND you can charge for it, so suddenly Facebook Live can become a revenue stream for your business, which is, well, actually REALLY exciting.
As lots of businesses are looking to reinvent themselves in our new COVID19 world, we think that this new Facebook functionality will be burning bright in the marketing toolkit.
If you’d like to figure out how you could use these new features in our new business and turn Facebook into a revenue generator, then give us a call on 020 3664 7973 or drop us a line.
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