By now we all know that the only constant in the world of social media, is change. Therefore it should be no surprise that Facebook has recently updated a few things, with other changes waiting in the wings. The social media giant recently unveiled several upcoming changes that are in the works for its family of applications and services. The announcement came during a two-day conference in San Francisco, CA where attendees and virtual participants saw new products, tools and interactive demonstrations of new features Facebook will be adding to its service in the coming months.
Automated Chat Messages
Facebook is looking to gain a competitive advantage over other messaging applications such as Kik with the creation of chatbots. Users can use the chatbots to complete tasks such as online shopping, sending flowers or making a dinner reservation without leaving the Facebook application.
Companies with business Facebook pages will be able to send out automated messages to customers as a means of virtual customer service to resolve issues or use as a company sees fit. The chatbots will have a prominent location in the main menu bar area of Facebook Messenger page. At this time, the chatbots will not accept credit card payments or other forms of payment through its system.
Facebook is looking to provide opportunities for publishers that have an interest in sharing their work with the online social community. They are accomplishing this through the recent introduction of the instant articles feature. Users that have an interest in this feature can select which page they want to use for instant article enablement.
The new publication feature will serve as a blog on a user’s Facebook page. The user will be able to track engagement levels and monitor how much exposure each instant article receives. The article publications can include videos and photos, so the publisher can bring a story to life for readers.
Messenger Profile Codes
Facebook is taking advantage of messenger earning the recognition of being the fastest growing social media application by updating how users can chat with one another. Each messenger account will soon have a dedicated page on the social media channel that makes starting new conversations easier.
Messenger will also be getting profile codes which are Facebook’s answer to the popular Snapchat code system. Users can add Facebook contacts as real life smartphone contacts.
It occurs when a user clicks on the series of circles surrounding another user’s messenger account picture.
Content branding occurs when an article mentions a third party company, brand or sponsor by name. Until now, Facebook has only allowed the use of content branding on pages that have the blue checkmark verification next to a person or company name. The new feature will allow any user to engage in content branding. The popular content posts may include text, images, links, instant articles and more.
Business Page Appearance
Facebook users who manage a personal account and a business page account will have a new way of switching between the two accounts. Interactions as a business page account now happens once a user clicks on the three dots in the upper-right corner of the Timeline page. From there, a user selects the business page account to “comment as” and proceeds with activity as normal. The Timeline feeds for each account will now be separate as well.
Live Video Action
After much debate, Facebook is now offering a live video feed option to all of its users. Previously, this feature was only available to celebrities and public figures. Now users can host live video streams straight from their Facebook personal profile page. Users can receive notifications of friends hosting live video feeds and interact with these presentations as well. As the application grows in popularity, Facebook will add Snapchat like features of on-screen messages and emoticons.
Shop and Service Tabs
Facebook page owners will begin to have the option to create a product shopping or services offering tab on their business pages. Page owners can create a virtual store on their Facebook page that allows page visitors to make purchases on products or services that are a part of business operations. Customers enter a method of payment with each purchase to complete a transaction.
Facebook continually makes changes that keep it at the top of the social media channel industry. Each of the changes presented at the latest conference are clear indicators as to why Facebook remains in control of the competitive advantage they have over other social media companies. Users complain about the changes at first before once again falling in love with the social network that keeps them in touch with family and friends scattered across the globe.
Social Media No To The Quo