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Social Media Weekly Roundup ft. Facebook F8, Messenger & Facebook Advertising Changes

In social media this week it’s all about Facebook, starting with their F8 conference, Facebook’s 20% Advertising rule and finishing with Facebook Messenger and Dropbox news.

Facebook F8

Facebook on iphoneOn 12th and 13th April, Fort Mason in San Francisco was host to Facebook’s F8 conference. The announcements made at the conference have dominated social media news this week and the other platforms have been particularly quiet.

The conference, not surprisingly, focused on Virtual Reality and the use of Artificial Intelligence which are both things that Mark Zuckerberg has already declared interest and investment in. In brief, these are the keypoints from F8:

  • Rights Manager – Increased controls to manage and protect videos on Facebook.
  • Facebook Live API – A new way for developers and publishers to use Facebook Live.
  • Crossported Videos and Trial Performance Insights – Tools to reuse and monitor videos across Facebook platforms and measure total performance.
  • Instant Articles – Now open to all publishers as promised, including new features and program data.
  • Facebook 360 – New publisher resources and new upcoming tools including a Facebook Surround 360 Camera with a 3D 360 hardware and software video capture system.

Some of the products announced are going to take a while – the demonstration of the VR ability of 2 people miles apart being together in a “real” place but in a virtual reality space isn’t going to be rolled out to all users anytime soon. Others like Rights Manager will be rolled out shortly and Instant Articles are available now.

Messenger Platform

Also announced at F8 was the launch of the Messenger Platform in Beta. Messenger have made several promises about how they see their future and the new platform encompasses those. The new platform includes a Messenger Send and Receive API, not just for sending and receiving text but also a welcome screen for threads and interactive multiple calls-to-action.

Also included are new discovery tools, including plug ins for websites and usernames, along with news feed ads which enable threads to be opened in Messenger and Bots. These can be used for anything from automated subscription content, like traffic updates or customised options like receipts or booking notifications.

No indication of a timescale has been given but it’s clear that Messenger will be making some significant changes to build “a future of amazing Messenger experiences”.

Facebook’s 20% Advertising Rule

In other Facebook news, the platform has removed the 20% text rule for advertising. Advertisers have long been hampered by the Facebook rule which prevents more than 20% of the advert showing text. As this includes the logo and any website or contact details it can be restrictive.

Some users, however, have noticed a change in the policy. Facebook still aren’t keen on text but it isn’t automatically refused and there is a new scale of OK, Low, Medium and High. OK has little or no text and is still Facebook’s preferred style, Low has some text and reach will be slightly reduced, Medium has too much text so may have a much lower reach and High has far too much text and is unlikely to display or be seen at all.

The new rules don’t appear to be in place for all users with the new options being rolled out gradually.

Facebook Messenger and Dropbox

It is now possible to share Dropbox files directly from Messenger. You need the Dropbox app on your phone but once you have this, you can click on ‘more’ and share any file in your Dropbox without leaving the Messenger app. Videos and images will appear in the chat but other types of documents can be tapped to open.

The function is available now with the latest version of Dropbox and is another step in making Messenger a fully fledged sharing platform.



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