Facebook Updates

What's new on Facebook?

By Manuela Vulpescu

Facebook tests offering marketers and advertisers active on the platform the opportunity to choose better the context in which their ads will be displayed in news feeds. The decision follows a series of suggestions and complaints received from companies regarding unwanted associations of their brands and messages with content treating subjects they don’t sustain or don’t resonate with.

For example, a producer or a distributor of organic kids' clothes will most probably not be willing to place his ads alongside content showcasing crimes and tragedies.

How will you be able to control the Facebook News Feed?

To influence how your content will appear in feeds, you will be allowed to organize selections of topics from a predefined list and decide which subjects you wish to avoid having around your ads. There will be a series of categories to choose from, including “News and Politics” and “Social Topics.” With the update still being tested, it is clear that the options list will accommodate more ideas based on the feedback received during this phase.

As declared by companies' officials, the platform will definitely ensure that the ads' performance will not be significantly affected by the newly programmed changes before releasing the new functionality.

Search Engine Land published the announcement in January. Marketing experts commented that the update - as presented now by Facebook - is not the most fantastic solution to the safety issues brands face nowadays because entirely eliminating the association with “breaking news,” for example, might not be the brightest choice of a business. Most companies got already used to pause their ads when negative news is spread around or entirely stop promoting if they consider publishing in a particular context may negatively impact their image.

Only time will tell if the newly proposed formula will be a constructive one or if the targeting options provided at the time being will stay sufficient.

It’s anyway noticeable that Facebook plans for the first time since launching to eventually allow users to interfere with how content will be displayed in news feeds.

What else changed on Facebook since January 2021?

Facebook Business Pages got a new look and new control functionalities. In the meantime, it is no longer possible to Like a Page. Only the Followers section is still available, making it more transparent for brands to see who’s really interested in them and willing to receive information regularly.

A new Q&A section is available, allowing discussion topics to be suggested. Once a company starts answering the questions, the conversation flow becomes visible to all page followers. For the moment, this feature works only on desktops.

Furthermore, if you are logged in as a company, you get access to a newsfeed that has been customized for your brand. You receive information that is supposed to be useful from your business perspective and communicate with connections, the same way you would do on your personal account.

The Business News Feed also suggests series of relevant contacts for you to get in touch with. They can very well be public figures, groups, or complementary business pages you may want to interact with.

Comments from Public Figures will appear first as they might very well work as credentials.

New control options are available to admins. You can better choose how to split responsibilities within your team when it comes to your business pages. You can opt for so-called departments and decide who should have access to all data, who should be responsible for creating ads, who should post content, and who should take care of your community management.

The new available format is supposed to facilitate the decisional process while suggesting a more efficient notification system with more security features and a better capacity to capture spam and identify fake accounts.

Access to your own data is easier than ever.

Initially, to access your personal data stored on Facebook, you had to look into two main sets of information: “your own one” and “the information about you.” Data used to be organized into eight distinct groups: your activity on the platform, friends and followers, preferences, personal information, login history, ads, apps and sites outside the platform, security and access data.

Now you can manage all these via a simple direct search you may want to conduct into more detailed subcategories. That also makes it easier to understand better how the platform uses the information to personalize your ads experience. These updates are now available for IOS and Android and will soon become accessible for desktop versions, too.


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