January 13, 2021

Platform Update: What’s New With Facebook?

Facebook is starting the year strong with several updates to the platform and what they’re calling ‘the new Pages experience’. Announced early January by Facebook themselves, a redesigned layout for Facebook Pages is set to be more intuitive and straightforward for all involved, including businesses and public figures.

Facebook has suggested these improvements have been designed to help public figures and creators build their community online and achieve their business goals. Digital transactions are more important now than ever before, and brands will turn to Social Media sites as not only marketing platforms but also sales ones.

So, what’s new?

Facebook Page Redesign

Facebook has redesigned Pages to ensure easy navigation between a user’s personal profile and a public page. The streamlined approach is designed to look and feel cleaner as well as to highlight the more important information being shared, such as a post.

Potentially the most significant recent change to pages is the removal of Page ‘Likes’. Users will only be able to ‘Follow’ a page instead, similar to Twitter and Instagram.

Although Page Likes has previously been described as a ‘Vanity Metric’, it’s still important for businesses to understand their potential reach and exposure.

Previously your Page Likes could be higher than your Page following which gives an inaccurate view of potential audience size. Facebook has explained that followers represent who can receive updates from the Page, thus helping businesses or public figures better understand who their audience is.

With the Page redesign comes new management features with the ability to assign and manage user admin permissions depending on what their tasks will be. For instance, you can now give access to manage Insights, Ads, Content or Engagement such as Community Activity and Messages.

Dedicated News Feeds

The new Page experience brings with it dedicated News Feeds for the first time. Pages can browse and join conversations, interact with their audiences, and follow the platform’s latest trends.

One of the best ways to keep your audience engaged is to actively converse with them, rather than just posting content out and hoping for the best.

A dedicated News Feed will help businesses conduct Social Listening and drive their Customer Engagement. Furthermore, similar to what Facebook users currently see, the dedicated News Feed will suggest relevant or trending content and connections that the Page may be interested in to help expand the content shown on the feed.

Encouraging Engagement

In line with their goal to help businesses meet their digital targets and objectives, Facebook will be adding a new Q&A format to encourage interactive conversations. Q&A’s will allow followers to ask questions about a specific topic.

As a business answers each question, they are added to a stack that followers can swipe through. Facebook users will also be able to follow Pages directly from comments and recommendations posts.

If you’re looking to host a Q&A on your Page, simply click ‘Create a Post’ and then ‘Host a Q&A’. Here you will be able to add a topic and a relevant photo. If you don’t manually end your Q&A, it will automatically stop after 24 hours.

Utilise the Q&A feature to drive engagement, educate your audience on key information regarding your business and showcase your expert industry knowledge.

Increased Safety

Another essential update to note is the new safety and integrity features Facebook is introducing. Over the more recent years, Facebook has cracked down on the likes of ‘Fake News’ and hateful content being shared across its platform.

The latest update is said to improve their ability to detect prohibited activity including hate speech, violent, sexual or spammy content or impersonation.

A verified badge, similar to Twitter’s blue tick, shows users that Facebook has confirmed the authenticity of a Page, whether it’s for a public figure or brand. Facebook will be developing the visibility of their verified badge and, in some cases, will be prioritising comments from verified accounts over others.

What’s Next?

As you’ll likely know, Facebook also own Instagram, another platform to offer Business and Creator profiles. It’s currently difficult to spot the difference between each profile format on the platform.

With the current focus on improving these areas on Facebook, it wouldn’t come as a surprise to see similar tweaks or improvements to Instagram.

Of course, with all the increases to safety and integrity implemented across Facebook, you would hope to see the same introduction for Instagram. The safer consumers feel on each Social Media platform, the longer they are likely to spend, which is beneficial for both Facebook and businesses.

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