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Facebook May Soon Let You Syndicate Instagram Stories On WhatsApp

Social Media Week

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Tech

Facebook is reportedly testing a new feature that would allow users to syndicate their Instagram Stories directly to WhatsApp. Though still in test mode, the move would further underscore Facebook’s desire to expand the stickiness of Instagram to its other owned properties.

On the flipside, it would also help expand Instagram Stories to WhatsApp’s global audience. As of July 2017, WhatsApp commands a global audience of 1 billion users. For comparison, Instagram has 500 million daily active users.

News of the feature was initially leaked in a blog post, which included screenshot taken by an Android user from Brazil. Show below, the screenshot depicts what the cross-posting between the platforms looks like in its current test state. The Instagram Story is on the left-hand side and the cross-post to WhatsApp Status is on the right.

Currently, WhatsApp allows users to post pictures or videos as a native WhatsApp Status and personalize them with drawings, text, emojis, or GIFs, AR filters, and information such as their location and the temperature.

Facebook’s investment in WhatsApp presented the social platform with inroads into the world’s largest mobile messaging platform. Its ongoing integrations align with the company’s new mission statement, which emphasizes the goal of bringing people together and building more “meaningful communities.”

On New Year’s Eve alone, WhatsApp was the source of 75 billion messages including more than 13 billion images and 5 billion videos, translating into the platform’s “biggest messaging day ever” per Adweek.

Within the marketing space, consumer-facing brands will want to pay attention to the updates, especially as WhatsApp builds out its enterprise business capabilities.

At this time, no rollout dates are being discussed as the feature is still too early in the testing phase.

Want to hear the latest news and product updates from Facebook and other leading digital platforms? Register for SMWNYC and join us in New York April 24-27.

Social Media Week is a leading news platform and worldwide conference that curates and shares the best ideas, innovations and insights into how social media and technology are changing business, society and culture around the world.

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Business

Facebook’s Sweeping News Feed Changes: Winners & Losers

Social Media Week

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Business

Facebook has announced plans to reframe how users experience its product, and the News Feed in particular, as part of the platform’s most sweeping changes in years. The big takeaway: Facebook will prioritize content that generates conversations—and more specifically, updates from friends and family—and diminish the organic spread of publisher content.

The news comes in light of growing concerns over Facebook’s role in society, and comes out of recent revelations from Mark Zuckerberg about Facebook’s path forward. Fresh off a year-long tour of the United States and renewed focus on community, the founder recently shared that his New Year’s resolution for 2018 was to “fix” the dark underbelly of Facebook that has created an environment of “fake news,” divisiveness, and bubbles that serve to limit users’ openness to contradictory ideas and opinions.

In an interview with The New York Times, Facebook hinted that reworking the News Feed will drive immediate dips in time on site and engagement metrics, but this is a sacrifice that Zuckerberg and Co. are willing to make in order to fix what has arguably become a broken News Feed experience that does not benefit the overall health and well-being of users. “If people end up feeling better about using the social network, the business will ultimately benefit,” noted the Times.

So, who stands to benefit from the update—and who will suffer? One clear winner is Facebook’s PR team. Facebook, and other digital platforms, came under intense scrutiny in 2017 regarding their growing (and rather freewheeling) influence on the world around them. From offensive to downright sinister content on YouTube, to debates over how elected officials can use Twitter, and, of course, how third-parties influenced the 2016 Presidential Election via Facebook, the general public has been hungry for tangible action from the tech giants.

Another potential winner is Facebook’s user base, who will now see more content from their friends and family members. Facebook’s original wave of users are passing a decade of platform use, and per Facebook’s own user surveys, some people lament that the Facebook they signed up for is barely recognizable compared to the one they use today. Of course, this announcement will not mean the end of advertising on Facebook and in the News Feed in particular, so users shouldn’t expect an entirely scrubbed News Feed by any means.

Per some comprehensive reporting via Digiday, the group with the most grounds for concern is the digital publishing community. Many publishers rely on Facebook to drive traffic to their owned properties. In fact, for a significant number of these publishers, Facebook is the second-most important referral source behind Google. This is especially true for digital-first, niche publishers—companies like BuzzFeed, Refinery29, ATTN, and others—that have learned how to create hacky, clickable, thumb-stopping content that resonates well in the Facebook News Feed in particular.

While the impact of the changes remains to be seen, these publishers will very likely need to reframe their approach to growing and engaging their audiences via Facebook and elsewhere. Of course, these types of shifts are not entirely new to the digital world. SEO professionals, for example, have been rewriting their playbook for years as Google updates and evolves its own algorithm. Moreover, Facebook’s News Feed has always been somewhat of a moving target, with publishers seeing fewer returns on organic investments in light of expanded pay-to-play opportunities.

Still, the news is significant and is already having an early impact on investor activity. Pre-market trading on the morning after the announcement indicated shares would dip more than they would in a year, though the long-term impact remains to be seen.

The new approach demonstrates Facebook’s desire to set into action its reworked vision to create and foster a stronger community, and a poignant inflection point for Zuckerberg personally. In his New York Times interview, he suggested that the move was not just about Facebook’s future, but for his future legacy, as well.

“It’s important to me that when Max and August grow up that they feel like what their father built was good for the world,” he said.

Explore these themes and more at SMWNYC, to be held April 24-27, 2018. Our global theme “Closer” will explore the growing tension between community and individualism. Hear from Facebook and other digital platforms at our tenth-anniversary event. Passes are on sale now.

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Business

Facebook to Reduce News Feed Noise and Business Pages Could See Big Hit

Entrepreneur

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This story originally appeared on PCMag

Facebook just announced a major impending News Feed change, which is intended to improve users’ mental health, but will likely cause Page admins to see a drop in engagement.

In an effort to make the service better for people’s well-being, Facebook is changing up its News Feed ranking algorithm to start showing users more posts from family, friends and groups they are part of, and less content from businesses, brands and media organizations. This change will likely cause people to spend less time on Facebook, but make the time they do spend there “more valuable,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a blog post.

As another consequence, Facebook Pages will likely see a decrease in “their reach, video watch time and referral traffic,” according to Facebook’s News Feed Head Adam Mosseri. Pages posting content “people generally don’t react to or comment on” will likely see the most significant drop in engagement, he wrote, adding that “pages whose posts prompt conversations between friends will see less of an effect.”

News of these impending changes comes after Facebook in December acknowledged that passively reading your Facebook News Feed isn’t always good for your mental health. Those who interact with posts (commenting, liking, etc.) tend to feel better about themselves than those who just scroll and scroll, the company found.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made it his New Year’s resolution to address this problem and fix other big issues facing the social network, including abuse and hate on the platform and along with foreign attempts to spread misinformation.

“Recently we’ve gotten feedback from our community that public content — posts from businesses, brands and media — is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other,” Zuckerberg posted on his wall late Thursday. He explained that there’s more public content on Facebook today than posts from a person’s friends and family, so News Feed currently shows more of the latter. But going forward, that’s changing. 

“We feel a responsibility to make sure our services aren’t just fun to use, but also good for people’s well-being,” Zuckerberg continued. “Research shows that when we use social media to connect with people we care about, it can be good for our well-being. We can feel more connected and less lonely, and that correlates with long term measures of happiness and health. On the other hand, passively reading articles or watching videos — even if they’re entertaining or informative — may not be as good.”

Zuckerberg said it will “take months” for these changes to completely roll out. If you follow a specific page you want to continue seeing its content in your News Feed (like PCMag, for example), be sure to select See First in News Feed preferences.

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Business

The Simple Facebook Trick That a Lot of People Never Get Right

Entrepreneur

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In this video, Entrepreneur Network partner Neil Patel explains how a Facebook cover photo can help you and your business better connect with fans, friends and colleagues. It’s a simple thing, but many people waste this opportunity by filling that area with whatever fits.

Instead, Patel says you should have a specific purpose and reason behind your cover photo. For example, Patel often features a picture from Brazil in his cover photo slot. Why? Because he and his business have invested a lot of time and energy into expanding there. By using a picture of Brazil, he is showing potential fans and customers there that they are important to him, and he has a desire to reach out to them. 

You can also connect with an audience by using a cover photo that describes what you and your business do. That way, people know instantly when they come to your page what you have to offer.

Click play to learn more about these strategies, plus how you can make them even more effective with video.

Related: How to Make More Online Sales With a Low-Traffic Website

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The Key To Achieving Facebook Viral Reach? Branded-Content Ads [Study]

Social Media Week

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Marketing

When it comes to attaining viral reach on Facebook, brands are better off promoting branded content partnerships versus creating and promoting their own content on their own pages.

This is according to new research from social analytics firm Shareablee, which found that branded content ads—that is, advertiser-promoted posts of branded content—generate twice as many earned impressions as paid impressions. The reason for this, per Shareablee CEO Tania Yuki, is simple: branded content is “more shareworthy” than traditional ads.

The study analyzed more than 800 branded content ads from 10 publisher Pages and 265 standard ads derived from 47 brand Pages that ran between July and October of last year. In this group, branded content ads brought in nearly 620K paid impressions and 1.2 million earned impressions, whereas standard ads received ~375K paid impressions and roughly 34K earned impressions.

Further, when the company compared the two types of ads, viral reach accounted for approximately 47 percent of branded-content ad impressions, compared to only 7.4 percent of standard ad impressions. With respect to shares, branded-content ads garnered more than 7K shares per ad. Standard ads on the other hand, averaged just 253 shares per ads.

These findings validate the theory that branded content is more engaging and more shareworthy than content that looks and feels like a standard ad. Of course, branded content partnerships come at a greater expense to marketers, as they must pay for the original native advertising buy and then the cost of promoting the final content.

Last August, Facebook updated its ad product to allow partners to boost the impact of their branded content partnerships. Brands, when granted permission from publisher and creator partners, can boost content shared via those third-parties and target them to their own audiences.

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