Thursday 22nd September, at the F8 conference, Mark Zuckerberg of
Facebook announced a number of significant changes that are due to be rolled
out across the platform. Below I have assessed the impact of just some of the
changes for consumers and brands alike and will continue with further
evaluations over the coming weeks.
the digital, marketing and technology press has understandably focussed on the
launch of Google+ over the last three months, and the impact that the social
network will have on the previous almost monopoly-like rule of Facebook in the
sector, there has been much talk and speculation about how Facebook will
respond. And now, following the announcements at the F8 conference this month,
Facebook has responded in bold terms.
most eye-catching change announced by Zuckerberg was the replacement of users
feeds with a new Timeline, which is set to transform the existing format of
user feeds into a chronological scrapbook. The visual examples of this are very
impressive and demonstrate Facebooks commitment to raising the bar for users
sharing more about themselves, which has been the cornerstone of social media
success over the last few years. The new timeline feature allows users not only
to share more about themselves, but tell others a much more personal story,
which despite the all too familiar grumbles whenever there is any change to
Facebook user functionality, looks set to be an unquestioned success.
a brand perspective however, in the immediate term, the changes will force a
reassessment of outreach strategies. For example, the changes to the user news
feed means the weighting of content is now even more important. The more
relevant or important the content (as deemed by Facebook engagement
algorithms), the greater its chance of appearing centre stage within the
top/recent news feature. However, content that is deemed less relevant will now
be featured in a rolling ticker located on the top right hand corner of each
users home page. The message to brands (and consumers for that matter) could
not be clearer: be relevant.