If you’re anything like the North Social team, you were plugged into the updates coming from Facebook’s F8 Developer Conference yesterday. Yes, there’s been a ton of noise surrounding Facebook’s announced changes over the past 2 days, but what does it mean to you? For those of you just tuning in, we wanted to help you interpret those changes that will likely impact your Facebook page and marketing efforts.
What changed: Profiles become Timelines
What it means: The most noticeable change is Timelines, the new UI that is meant to completely replace our Facebook profiles. Existing profile data will be merged into media-rich Timelines and users will have the ability to customize the information and imagery displayed within their Timeline. This is simply a UI makeover that will provide an effective canvas for the new additions to the open graph (see below).
What changed: The Open Graph expands beyond the “Like”
What it means: The “Like” button now has a few brothers and sisters in “Listened”, “Watched” and “Read”. Facebook announced a new class of Open Graph applications that let users share what they listen to, watch, and read with friends. These stories featuring will be displayed on the News Feed and Ticker.
For advertisers, these additional actions will provide a deeper level of user targeting. For example, rather than just targeting who “Like” a certain band, advertisers will be able to target any user who shared a the band’s songs through any Open Graph application such as Spotify, Rdio, etc., and any of their friends who clicked “Listened” on a shared story about the band. These additional data points exponentially expand the potential reach for advertisers while giving them more granular targeting options.
What changed: A more social News Feed
What it means: The Facebook News Feed has been updated to simply “be more social”. Whereas before a user may see numerous posts from the Pages they’ve liked, the vast majority of stories within their News Feed will pertain to their friends. The major implication here is that your company’s status updates will have to fight harder to gain exposure within the news feed. Combatting these changes means you’ll need to incentivize fans to share content or news from your Page (i.e., via the Share button on any of North Social’s 18 apps).
However, any “Likes” or commenting that occurs outside of Facebook will continue to be displayed in the News Feed. This means it’s increasingly important to integrate your website with the Open Graph to ensure your fan’s activities are being displayed to their Facebook friends.
The changes to Facebook’s ‘EdgeRank’ algorithm are driven by the need to increase engagement among Facebook friends and also to create a distinction between commercial entities and individual users. Due to reduced exposure in the News Feed, efficient Facebook advertising will become more important to these commercial entities (psst…your brand) looking to increase fan counts.
What changed: Pages are accessible to all users, not just fans
What it means: Facebook eliminated the requirement that users have to Like a Page to be able to post on the Page’s wall or comment on its updates. Consumers can now Like and comment on any post marked public on the site. Page management will become more important than ever. We’ll likely see an increased effort by Facebook to improve accessibility and transparency when it comes to brand and business Pages, since “Public” updates will help improve the feasibility of using Facebook as a search tool.
There ya have it. Our team will continue to update you on these changes in the coming weeks.
Lastly, if you didn’t catch SNLs Andy Samberg doing his Zuck imitation, video below (a little forced in our opinion, but to each their own):