In social media news this week, Facebook launches Sports Stadium and improves lead ads, WhatsApp confirms no fees for life and we say goodbye to old friends.
Facebook Sports Stadium
Late on Wednesday, Facebook announced the launch of their Sports Stadium. Sports Stadium pulls together all of the content related to a game in one place – in essence creating a virtual stadium where you can feel like you’re watching with your friends even when you aren’t together. Appearing chronologically and in real time, which is usually Twitter’s claim, Sports Stadium has a tab for posts and commentary from friends and experts (verified Facebook users) as well as game stats to “make watching the broadcast even better”.
Currently only available on iphone in the US and for American football games, Facebook have promised to expand to other platforms in the coming weeks and to support other sports around the world soon.
Although it concentrates solely on sporting events Sports Stadium looks to rival Twitters new Moments and Snapchat’s Live Stories.
Facebook Lead Ads
When they were launched back in October, Facebook promised to continue to improve Lead Ads and this week they have made them available on desktop and mobile and also added two new features. Lead Ads are designed to focus on generating quality leads, ensuring that only those that are really interested sign up.
The first of the new features is a context card which allows you to offer more information before a user signs up. In reality it’s an extra step allowing less interested users to drop out before they provide their details. Facebook believe that this should mean that more of your sign ups are higher quality as they really do want to find out about what you can offer them. The second feature is a carousel format so you can showcase more products before someone signs up.
WhatsApp is free for life
With nearly a billion users worldwide, WhatsApp have announced that they are abandoning their ill-fated subscription fees for new users. Whilst it was only a nominal fee of 99¢ there has been some speculation that WhatsApp will have to replace the subscription fee with paid third-party adverts but WhatsApp have clearly said “No”.
Inevitably there has to be a way of generating income and they have said that they will be testing tools that “allow you to use WhatsApp to communicate with businesses and organisations that you want to hear from.” How these will evolve and how it appears within WhatsApp is still under wraps but it could be an interesting year for WhatsApp users.
Friends Reunited Shuts Down
When it was created in 1999, Friends Reunited was one of the first social networks to gain real popularity and accumulated over 10 million users. Whilst it never gained the same popularity as Facebook, FriendsReunited was a precursor to the social networking sites that dominate today’s digital world.
In a recent announcement, however, co-founder Steve Pankhurst has said that it is time to “put FriendsReunited to bed”. On the back of the announcement, he has announced a new project called Liife. Very different in concept to FriendsReunited, Liife is almost a virtual photo album with a much tighter control over who can see your pictures and without the mass stream of information that you see from other users who you don’t know or want to receive anything from. Only limited details are available but you can sign up on the Liife website to be one of the first to find out more.