“The only constant is change,” said the Greek philosopher Heraclitus. We can’t prove it, but we’re pretty sure he was talking about Facebook updates.
Sometimes its changes enjoy (see: Introduction of Messenger). Sometimes they cause mass crimes (see: literally every time the interface is redesigned). One thing is certain, however: Facebook never rests on its laurels.
There is always something new in the works, which means there are always new ways for your brand to stand out from its competitors.
For this reason we will update this page regularly and highlight the most important Facebook updates every month. Make sure to check back often (and maybe even bookmark this page?).
Top Facebook Updates You Need To Know In 2020
October 2020 Facebook updates
Facebook Shops introduces discount function
Some say the holidays are about family and togetherness. Others say it’s about shopping. We’re not here to pick pages, but we’re here to reveal the juicy news Facebook shops have introduced a new discount function … so maybe we’re actually talking about gossip during the holidays?
If you own a Facebook store, you can now offer deals to buyers as they track your digital storefront.
Sell individual products, create automatic discounts for qualified orders or activate coupon codes. Discounts can also be applied to your entire store or specific collections.
Regardless of what cute savings you are offering, you can keep your customers informed by adding a banner to your shop.
Currently, discount features are only available for stores in the United States. However, if they get along, expect the same functionality in stores around the world soon.
The Facebook Messenger API now supports Instagram messaging
With this update to the Messenger API, businesses can now integrate Instagram messaging into a wide variety of apps for more efficient connection with customers. The messaging functions of Facebook Shops are also available for this API update.
Messages sent by customers through Instagram profiles, stories or stores can now be accessed (and replied to) on a single platform. This is another step Facebook is taking to bring its communication tools together under one roof.
Heads up: This updated API is currently in beta (exclusive, oooh!), So only a limited number of companies and developer partners currently have access. However, the initial results show high response rates, faster resolution of customer problems, and deeper audience insights.
PS: As a result of this API update, Hootsuite is part of the beta program, which will give selected customers early access to Instagram messages in their inbox before they are made available to all Hootsuite customers in 2021.
New way to connect groups and brands for collaboration
A community of people who have come together for one cause can be a great cause (Save for some important exceptions). But a community of people who have come together for a cause and also get loot or support from brands? Even better!
Facebook is trying to do just that by expanding its Brand Collabs Manager involve public groups. It’s like FB playing Matchmaker, connecting brands with communities that might fit well.
The Brand Collabs tool has been active since 2018, but so far it has only been used to connect brands with developers and public figures for paid product placement.
This recent update now expands the potential pool of employees to include public groups. Group admins have the opportunity to earn money creating branded content. (Note that paid posts will be marked as such per Facebook’s branded content guidelines.)
The Facebook Forecast forecasting platform is now available in Canada and the United States
In these uncertain times, it’s comforting to hear that Facebook has announced that it can predict the future.
Well, at least that its users can predict the future anyway.
With Forecast, Facebook’s new crowd-sourced prediction platform, users can gather answers to questions related to topics such as business, sports and (of course) politics, among others.
The platform is based on what Facebook calls the “prediction market”: people can use virtual dots to trade future results. The hope is that this will be a place for measured and respectful conversation, but this is the internet so who knows.
The prediction started in beta this spring and is now available to anyone in Canada or the US via the app or website. Further information on the forecast can be found here.
Disappearance mode available on Facebook Messenger
Ever since Snapchat pioneered the message in 2012 that you are now seeing you are not going away, Facebook has delved into its own perspective on technology.
With Vanish mode in Messenger, these auto-disappearing messages are now easily accessible. Send a message in Vanish mode and in your opinion it will sort of self self-destruct for maximum privacy.
Other additions to the Facebook Messenger toolkit include new gradients for your chat background and custom emoji reactions.
To access these new features, simply update your app and get sneaky. You can find more information about Messenger here.
Facebook Neighborhoods is in the works
Limited testing of Facebook’s new hyperlocal neighborhood groups feature – referred to simply as neighborhood groups – was launched this month in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Its functionality is similar to that of Nextdoor, a social network specifically designed to connect local residents for community building and safety (with frequent) interesting results).
The aim is to connect geographic communities online in a special area. If you happen to live in Calgary, you can find your neighborhood group in the Facebook app under Menu. (Though there, of course, it’s called Neighbourhood.)
These groups are generated automatically and have no local administrators. You’ll need to share your location data to find your neighborhood. Facebook then suggests the closest neighborhood you want to join along with a few other local options.
You can also invite other neighbors to join. When you post in a neighborhood group, other users can see a specific neighborhood version of your profile, which protects your privacy a bit. (You can change the visibility in your settings.)
Facebook introduces Oversight Board
Should your content be removed from Facebook for reasons you believe is unfair, please refer to a forum featuring real living people now.
Facebook’s new Oversight Board is a global body of independent experts (meet them here!) That make binding decisions on selected disputes. It’s like the Supreme Court, but for your social media.
As much as Facebook tries to keep clear, updated guidelines in an ever-changing world, not all is black and white. The goal of this board is to deprive Facebook of decision-making about freedom of speech and security in extreme cases.
The board of directors will make binding, independent decisions about individual questionable content.
To have your case reviewed by the board, you must first exhaust all of the available appeal options on Facebook.
At this point, you will receive an Oversight Board Reference ID in your support inbox which you can then enter on the Oversight Board website. This is also where you can post a statement about why you are contesting Facebook’s decision.
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