WhatsApp with Facebook?
If you have paid attention to social media in the news recently you probably have noticed Facebook is doing a great way of staying current in the “News Feed” – Pun Intended.
No doubt this strategy has to do with the negative press it received at the end of 2013 / beginning of 2014 with its dramatic shift in the current algorithm AND news that teenagers are fleeing the platform in droves. This is old news. Let’s focus on the new features and ways that Facebook is tackling the buzz and shifting its brand persona.
Facebook celebrated 10 years on February 4th with a personal viral video users could share with their audience. This was a brilliant move by Facebook to show it isn’t “the new kid on the block”. By making the video personal and allowing users to view and share their Facebook journey – it further increased the virality of their hidden message. “We have been around for a while and aren’t going anywhere.” For those of us who have been on Facebook since the beginning, it as a wild trip down memory lane. You can view my video here. Nine years baby!
Facebook releases its user numbers. Facebook recently shared its numbers further restoring faith in its brand image. The numbers show a 16% increase year-over-year. Even though they admitted to seeing a drop in teenage users, the numbers still show a massive presence. Fifty-seven percent of Americans use Facebook. Teenagers (age 12-17) make up 73% of that segment. (Pew Research).
WhatsApp acquisition. If your target audience is leaving your platform what do you do? Well you place yourself where they are going. Facebook just spent $19 Billion on WhatsApp ($16 Billion more than they offered Snapchat). WhatsApp is a mobile messaging App that works across multiple platforms. Free for the first year and then $1 for a yearly subscription. Parents take note, you may not have to worry about your teenager going over the messaging limits set on their phone. However, your data plan is a different story.
Trending Sidebar. In an attempt to make the News Feed more relevant to what users want to see, Facebook has launched the Trending Sidebar in the upper right hand side of the screen. This tells users, the hottest new stories being shared.
Facebook Paper App. Do you want to aggregate information for your audience? Well then the Facebook Paper App is for you! A great tool for businesses looking to develop thought leadership. You download the app to your phone and pull news stories, status updates, photos, (any content that is relevant) into your own digital newspaper. Then share with your followers.
Elimination of Facebook Email & Sponsored Stories. Facebook will phase out these two features shortly. Facebook created specific email addresses for all users, but found users are not using them. Shocker … why email when you can write on a wall, chat or send a message? Those who use this feature will have emails forwarded to the email address they used upon setup. As for Sponsored Stories, the reason Facebook is eliminating this feature is to make advertising easier for professionals.
Tag your business friends. On February 24th Facebook announced yet another change. As a business, if you tag another business page your content may be shared with that audience. After putting so many limitations on Pages this is a welcome change. It is a great way to expand your reach and grow your following. However, Facebook will only share new stories that share relevant information to that page’s followers.
That is it for now. Give Facebook another couple of days to introduce or eliminate another feature.