With Facebook announcing dozens of new feature tests each month, it can be hard to tell which ones are important to your business. Let’s clear up the confusion about Facebook testing new features with a quick dive into the potential impacts of each one.
Notifications, Notifications Everywhere
Between Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram the Facebook family of apps spans a wide scope. Managing those apps for a brand means regular switches between each app for social media managers. In a test to a small number of users, Facebook is integrating the notifications for its three platforms so you’ll get notifications for all three on each individual app. Combined with the late February update to unify brand inboxes across each platform this should limit the need to be constantly switching between the three apps for social media managers.
The Brand is Online NOW!
One part of Facebook testing new features could totally change the life of social media managers everywhere: notifying page visitors when a Page Admin is currently online. In addition to an overlay letting users know that someone from the brand is online, it includes a button to instantly communicate via Messenger. While most social media managers do a lot of their day to day work in another interface that connects to Facebook via the API, there’s still a need to check things in native. If users decide to take Facebook up on the offer to message Page Admins, it could mean a significant influx of incoming engagements every time they log into Facebook.
Like, Comment, Share… or Message?
We’re all familiar with the engagement options Facebook has presented to users on each post. You can like a post, or choose one of the newer Reaction icons. You may choose to comment on the post, alone or in addition to “reacting” to it. You can also share the post on your timeline or a friend’s timeline. If this latest test ends up being expanded, you may soon be able to engage NewsFeed posts via a Messenger message. This will likely create a steady stream of new conversations for brand pages that they’ll need to be prepared to engage with.
Goodbye Likes, Say Hello to the Community
If you go to your desktop and click on your brand’s Facebook page today, you’ll see a long list of sections in the gray sidebar to the left. When you click on the “Likes” section, you’ll get some metrics about how often the page gets liked and mentioned by other users across Facebook. Some Facebook users are reporting a test that replaces the “Likes” section with a new “Community” section. This section won’t simply be metrics though. It’ll contain images the page is tagged in, posts mentioning the brand page, and other engagements from the page’s community.
Facebook vs Lynda?
Another test that’s been slowly rolling out is the option to create online learning courses. This is an excellent way for a brand to connect with users and customers via Facebook. It appears that the test is limited to page linked groups for the time being. However, it’s perfect for delivering educational content about the brand’s products or services directly to the consumers.
Putting It All Together
Facebook testing new features is a common occurrence. Often the tests don’t survive to make it to the entire platform. It’s important to know what’s going on though so your brand is prepared to take advantage of the benefits that early adoption can provide. For some enterprises, this can mean hiring entire teams of social media experts to stay on top of the latest news. Not every company has that capability, and that’s where the pros at SocialPath can help. We’ve got a team of digital natives that can make sure your company doesn’t get left in Facebook’s dust.