[VIDEO COMING SOON]
It's also important to note that this was a 2-day conference jam packed full of sessions and workshops that I can not possibly cover in one post – so I will continue to cover f8-related content in the weeks/months to come AND (of course) I post weekly marketing content every Monday that will reflect changes as they roll out.
As you may know, I have an entire course on Facebook Marketing – and as promised – this course is getting a major face-lift as these new changes roll out! If you are one of my existing students, then there is nothing you need to do! The changes will roll out to you as they're available…. if you're NOT already a student of Ready Set Ad then you'll want to head over to ReadySetAd.com and get on the waitlist so that you are notified as soon as enrollment opens back up in August!
F8 2019 opened with a 2-hour keynote. Mark Zuckerberg speaks first (and for about an hour) and rolls out some of the most exciting updates to the platform. He opened the keynote by revealing the “theme” of 2019: Privacy.
Now Facebook has recently come under fire for data breaches – and while Facebook is focused on ensuring that your data remains protected, it's not the full extent of the way in which they see “privacy” reflected throughout the platform. Facebook has identified that users of the Facebook platform (and family of apps, including Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger) prefer increasingly private interactions.
My Top 10 Takeaways from F8 2019
1. Messenger Lightspeed
Zuckerberg mentioned that if he could go back and start Facebook again from the ground up, he would do so by focusing on messenger. They are calling the newest upgrade to the messenger platform: Messenger Lightspeed – it's twice as fast and 7x smaller than the current model. Their vision for Messenger is that it will be fast, simple, reliable, and secure. Let me tell you – the demos looked amazing!
There are 20 Billion messages between people and businesses this year – and 50% of people are more likely to do business with companies that they can message – if you are a marketer you HAVE to be paying attention to this platform.
2. Messenger Desktop App
As if Messenger couldn't get cooler – Facebook is creating a Messenger Desktop App – just like the separate app for Messenger that you have on your phone – there will be one for the desktop as well… and that's not the cool part. This new messenger app will include Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and allow you to seamlessly message from any device – all from one central hub. How AMAZING is that going to be?! This update will make it so much easier to manage all the messaging platforms we're active on across the Facebook family of apps!
3. Well-Being and the New App/Website
One of the break-out sessions I attended was super interesting and it was on the topic of well-being. We know that social media can be a trigger for a slew of negative emotions, and Facebook has researched how people's interactions with the platform impacts their mood. I've said before that Facebook is concerned with the user experience – but it's not just time spent on the site – it's actually the users well-being that is of concern to the platform. What they found is illustrated in the images below:
Note: the columns of the bar graphs are as follows: (1) Satisfaction with life, (2) Positive Mood, (3) Social Support, (4) Stress, (5) Depression, (6) Negative Mood, (7) Loneliness
Reading 50+ Posts About Acquaintances
Simply reading posts from acquaintances caused a statistically significant increase in negative mood.
Receiving 50+ Comments from Acquaintances
When a user received comments on their posts from acquaintances, they felt an increase in social support and a decreased feeling of loneliness.
Receiving 50+ Comments from Close Friends
The results when shifting those comments from acquaintances to close friends was astonishing – users felt an increase in satisfaction with life, positive mood, and social support, as well as a decreased feeling of loneliness.
What does all this have to do with the new website/app? Well, from a design perspective not much. You'll notice a new logo (a brighter blue) and a lighter interface (it's much more white) and the reactions have some additional animation to them… but on the back end of things, how the algorithm is optimizing – that's where the well-being research is important to keep in mind. In the intro I talked about the shift to more private conversations, and this is part of the reasoning behind that – when people feel close to others who are interacting with them, they feel better about themselves. So, Facebook wants to provide more of those opportunities, and it's ranking them higher in the newsfeeds. It's also why when it comes to newsfeed rankings, Facebook is favoring meaningful comments and discussions over other forms of engagement like liking or sharing.
4. “Communities as central as friends.”
Zuckerberg compared the Facebook of today (and the past 5 years) to a town square… and the Facebook of the future as a living room. More intimate conversations. Over 400 million people are currently in groups, and Facebook has announced a prioritization of groups in the newsfeed going forward. For this reason you may have already noticed some additional promotion of groups on Facebook's part – as they are encouraging users to discover new groups that are a good fit for them.
Do you have a Group for your business – SHOULD you have a Group for your business? This is a question that I have been asked frequently for years and it's being asked even more frequently now. I will say that a Page is still 100% necessary and should always come before a Group – you need that page to advertise and to represent the “storefront” of your business on the platform. Once you have that element in place, then you can consider a Group. Remember that participation in Groups ran by other people can be just as beneficial as building a Group of your own – and I encourage you to do both.
5. Groups Updates: Anonymous Posting & Shipping for Shoppers
Heath Support Communities will gain a button to allow users to request anonymity with their post – this way, admins can post on behalf of a user who wants to remain anonymous with ease!
Shopping Communities will include the ability to support shipping for orders placed that are not local!
6. Stories Updates
Another trends that has remained consistent from last year is the focus on video – but this year the focus is on shorter video clips – specifically in the form of Stories! Stories are big on both Instagram and Facebook – and though stories have been on Instagram since 2016 and on Facebook since 2017, they still are not used/understood by the “older” generations on Facebook (and I use “older” loosely, as I too fall into that camp in my mid-30s!). But, stories are here to stay and they're really important – so if you're not using them, it's time to start experimenting or you're going to be left in the dust because they're really taking off!
So, the updates: “Create Mode” will now allow you to start with a blank canvas and create a story with a solid background instead of a photo/video. They have also rolled out donation stickers if you're working with a nonprofit and want to raise money.
If you're not already using stories, here are a couple quick pointers mentioned in one of the breakout sessions on Stories:
- Stories are full-screen and shot in portrait-orientation: 82.5% of visitors to video-centric websites hold their smartphone in “portrait.”
- 50% of people visited a website to shop for a product/service as a result of seeing it on stories, and 31% physically went into a store to shop for something after seeing it in stories.
- 60% of businesses on IG stories use interactive elements monthly, this includes polling stickers which are a great way to crowd source insights or even run contests.
- Use stickers authentically and strategically – there is conflicting data about whether the use of stickers directly influences conversions within stories, so only use them if it's relevant to your message/audience.
- Split your story into scenes. Top performing stories ads have shorter more succinct scenes, so experiment with fast-paced and bite-sized clips.
7. Instagram Updates: Likes, Shopping, & Bullying
The biggest announcement surrounding Instagram is that they're experimenting with removing likes from the publicly available metrics. What this means is that you'll be able to go into your analytics and see how many likes the image you posted yesterday received, but you will not be able to go to MY Instagram account and see how many likes MY images are getting. I'll tell you, this is not a change I am at all worried about, and I think that overall it's in the best interest of everyone. First, it's important to remember that Instagram is a platform that really caters to the younger generations. My 11 year old has classmates on Instagram, and I am friends with one of my friends similarly-aged daughters – and social media is having very profound effects on the younger generation who continue to get caught up in social media being a popularity contest. No, this one change on the part of Instagram is not going to change that – but it certainly may help. Instagram wants people to worry less about vanity metrics and focus on building those connections that improve everyone's well-being. Their concern about bullying is a further extension on their overall concern with well being, as well.
As a content creator myself I am also excited about their announcement that they are going to allow creators to access IG shopping tools and link to products that are being represented in their stories – this is going to be great for influencers of all sizes!
8. FB Dating & Meeting New Friends
Last year Facebook announced their dating app – a totally separate feature that you have to opt in to use (just to rest your mind at ease that it's not something you'll automatically get added to). I am one of those statistics – people who met their spouse online – so I don't think this is an awful idea since it's totally optional. Anyhow… Facebook Dating launched last year in 5 countries and it's rolling out to the US later this year… along with that tid bit, they also announced 2 really cool other features – one that's relevant even if you're NOT interested in dating!!
- Secret Crush – this is a cute and fun way to notify someone within the dating interface that you have an interest in them. Now, again, this is within the dating app and is separate from Facebook and is totally optional. How this works is if you have a person (up to 9 people, actually) that you're interested in on your friends list, you can add them to your list of secret crushes within Facebook Dating App. They will ONLY get notified if they also indicate that you are one of their secret crushes (which means that they are also using the Facebook Dating App) and then you'll both get a notification that there has been a match made.
- Meet New Friends – So I kinda love this. Meet New Friends is basically taking the Dating App and opening it up to platonic friendships. Right now, we do a lot of meeting new friends in groups, or even by friend requesting people we haven't met in real life but might have a lot of friends in common with. This can change all that. With this feature you can opt in (again, like the dating app, it's totally optional) and search for people who are looking for a new friend – maybe you've just moved to a new city, are the first of your friends to have a baby and are looking for a playdate, or maybe you really want to go to a concert but would prefer to have someone to go with – platonically. This will be great for that!
9. Responsible Innovation
There was a strong focus on what Facebook called “Responsible Innovation” which means that they want to take a pro-active role in ensuring that the platform is clear of harmful content, misinformation, and is safe and aligned with the well-being of the user. This means that they want to keep the platform clear of spam, fake accounts, violence, hate speech, terrorism, bullying/harassment, adult nudity, and child exploitation.
I believe it's important to understand how Facebook works and why it does the things it does, so that you can craft your content appropriately. Believe me, I know how frustrating it is to have a photo with no humans in it removed for nudity – it's happened to me – but, we appeal those decisions and then go on with our day knowing that it's those systems that prevent us from seeing inappropriate content on the platform all the time.
This chart shows the percentage of violating content that was removed before people reported it in the following areas from left to right: (1) spam, (2) fake accounts, (3) nudity, (4) violence, (5) child safety, (6) hate speech, (7) terrorism, (8) harassment.
Facebook's goal for responsible innovation. While it does stink to be one of those few mistakes, it's reassuring to see how much violating content they are effective in removing, which makes the platform a positive experience for the vast majority of users.
This is a timeline breakdown of how they've been able to proactively remove so much content. It started with keyword matching, then they began to analyze images (this example shows marijuana vs. broccoli), and how it's constantly evolving to more effectively track violators.
10. How Facebook uses data for good
This might have been my favorite break out session – just because it was SO interesting to me. In the beginning of this post I talked about the data breeches of the past – which have resulted in a lot of uproar over the amount of data Facebook has access to, and what they are using that data for. Often people are fearful that the data is being sold, or that it's going to get into the hands of corrupt people who will use it for harm… I am confident that this is not Facebook's goal. That being said, we know hackers exist, and we do rely on Facebook to ensure our data is secure, but I digress… I wanted to share a little glimpse into how Facebook is using data from it's users for good, by teaming up with humanitarian organizations during times of crisis.
Facebook has created what they call “Disaster Maps” that serve to leverage the data Facebook has in order to answer four important questions in times of crisis:
- What areas are affected?
- Where are people evacuating to/from?
- Where has power/connectivity been disrupted?
- Where have displaced people settled?
Facebook can do this because it's so big and has such a strong user base throughout the world. As a matter of fact, 71% of the global internet population is using the Facebook family of apps! So, here is how some of this data is used through Disaster Maps:
Facebook Population Map
This is an example from the Camp Fire that effected Paradise, California in 2018. Yellow is the general expectation, blue represents large decreases in the Facebook population and red represents large increases in Facebook population. So in this example you can see that people were leaving Paradise and people were going to Chico and Oroville. This helps humanitarian organizations know where help is most needed.
The movement map allows us to better understand the trends identified in the Facebook Population Map. You can select any city and track movement to or from that city, which similarly, can help gain a better understanding on where people have gone and where shelters or resources to help evacuees should go. Based on this map, we could interpret that the red area surrounding Chico in the population map is evacuees, but the red area in Oroville may be relief workers coming in from other cities. We could also further explore the map to confirm that hypothesis.
Network Coverage Map
This example is from a volcanic eruption in Guatemala in 2018. The green areas are the strongest connectivity areas with more active cell towers, orange has some connectivity, red and white have little-no coverage. This allows us to see who has lost coverage – they may not know what to do, and they wont be able to tell family they are safe. Also, we can see where network coverage remains strong so that ground-level response efforts can be planned appropriately in areas with connectivity.
I think it's so fascinating to see how Facebook is using the data it has in this way – and it certainly was not their intention to do so in the beginning. I think it's important to keep in mind as we sometimes get nervous about the level of data Facebook is collecting from us, that there are really great uses of this data that can help in times of crisis and disaster.
PHEW! That wraps up my top 10 takeaways from F8 2019. I would love love love if you hopped over into the FREE FamilyPreneur Community and shared what you're most excited about – or ask any questions that you have!
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Meg Brunson has been marketing to moms for nearly a decade. After leaving her corporate job at Facebook in 2017 to be a more present mom to her 4 daughters, she founded EIEIO Marketing; a digital marketing agency focused on Facebook Marketing for family-first businesses.
Through highly targeted, results-driven, Facebook Ads she's delivered results for her clients that include: doubling their lead volume, generating 62% more sales than the in-house team, attaining a 16x return on ad spend, and reducing the cost per lead by 99%!
After helping her daughter launch her first business, Storytime With Kiki, at the age of 10, Meg began hosting the FamilyPreneur Podcast: an interview-style podcast for parent entrepreneurs, raising entrepreneurial children.