Big Changes for Facebook

Facebook Creature
Facebook Creature

Ever with there was a way to get the inside scoop on what to expect a few months from now? Well, sometimes it’s possible with the help of research, a few well words of advice from industry insiders and perhaps a bit of rumor thrown in for good measure. Social media management firms are always on the lookout for what is coming down the pipeline and this summer is no exception! One thing is certain, these will be high demand items so speak with your social media rep to find out the best way to position your company for maximum results!

Although still in the realm of rumor, it appears Facebook might be adding a “Want” button in the near future! According to those in the know, Facebook is currently including a disabled “want” button in coding for several plug-ins. This is super exciting news forsmall business owners searching for a way to encourage sales or increase exposure to specific products. Unlike the “like” button, the “want” button will allow users to do more than just affirm their appreciation for a product…by compiling “wants”, the feature allows users to create an actual shopping list or products, share friend activity list or possibly even act as a shared wedding, birthday or baby shower registry. While these possibilities are exciting, it is only the tip of the iceberg! The real benefit of the “want” button will be in the data potential; social media marketing professionals will have major insight into what users are searching for including specific features, colors etc…talk about finely targeted!

Could it be that Facebook is currently testing its very own advertising network? If so, what would it mean for social media marketing and small business? There are a few telling signs which could indicate the social media giant does indeed have plans to display ads on more than its own site; in recent days, sponsored stories and traditional Facebook advertisements have started to appear on Zynga.com, one of the most recent Facebook acquisitions. In the past, Zynga advertisements featured Google AdSense content…currently the AdSense ads are still running side by side with the Facebook featured advertisements. Although Facebook denies any immediate rush into the creation of an advertising network, mum is the word on when (or if) the social media giant will expand beyond the original site. Still, it’s a tantalizing prospect for social media marketing firms and small business entities alike!

This will come as a welcome change for those social media admin’s or DIY types that have been forced to submit a written request in order to change a vanity URL; now it’s finally possible to do it yourself! In the past, pages with more than 100 likes were not allowed to change their URL without filling out a request form and waiting for approval from Facebook. It was time consuming and a bit of a hassle…assuming you even got the approval in the first place! Now it’s simple; go to the edit page, hit “update info”, indicate “basic information” and “change username”. Viola’

If you build it they will come. Sage advice which Facebook seems to have taken to heart especially in relation to their mobile marketing plans. According to a recent article in the NY Times, Facebook is building a “blazing fast” iOS app for their mobile platform. With an anticipated release date sometimes this summer, mobile users will no longer need to wait for apps to load or restart. Perhaps more importantly, it allows engineers to make multiple changes on the fly. For those that hate change…no need to worry! Nothing else will look any different. This change is all about speed and reliability!

Here is a little change with big potential; Facebook finally allows a unified “Like” count! This is especially important for those business entities with multiple pages, different campaign locations etc..now it’s possible to identify “likes” by individual region as well as a total count.

If you liked the unified like feature, chances are you will be downright ecstatic about the improved reach count feature. Business owners will now be able to see the total number of unique users which viewed a given post with a breakdown between organic, viral and paid results. Nice!

More pictures, more places and more options for Open Graph users means more control and better communication. In the past it was only possible to include one single, solitary, lonely little photo on an Open Graph post…it was underwhelming to say the least. Now it’s possible to include multiple photographs and use third-party location data to create rich user experience. This is an especially nice addition to restaurants desiring a way to showcase several menu items or different locations throughout the town.

What do you think of the new Facebook changes? Which would you be most likely to use and why? Share your thoughts with us!