8 Key Pieces of Facebook news you missed in March 2014 (I wouldn’t miss no. 8 if I were you!)

March flew by in a blink of an eye! Thankfully there wasn’t much blockbuster news that got marketers so riled up in January and February.

But there’s still 8 pieces of news that you should pay attention to, especially no. 8!

1. Facebook updates Paper

Paper has failed to live up to its hype so far. The last time I used the app was more than a month ago. What about you?

Anyway, Facebook introduced new features into Paper. Now you can share news stories via Messenger, text, or email. This represents a subtle move towards greater viral reach, and of course, getting people to visit the app. But nothing much beyond that.


2. Facebook refreshes newsfeed

Perhaps one of the most talked-about updates in March, Facebook has introduced a new look for newsfeed. Updates were cosmetic in nature, and it seems like a move that was informed by data that Facebook engineers have followed for some time.

According to Curtis, Facebook’s philosophy follows Big Data more than hunch or qualitative research and feedback. This was clear when he mentioned, “whatever goes up, that’s what we do.” From a business or marketing viewpoint 5 years ago, Facebook’s decision is peculiar at best. But today, nothing could be more neutral and helpful a feedback tool than big data. That’s what Facebook does and I’d do the same.

What it means for businesses and marketers: Worry not about the Facebook engagement and user experience - they are always looking to improve it. If there’s one thing you should focus on, it should be how your content appears on the newsfeed. If there’s one thing you should (and I’d) complain about, it’s how Facebook newsfeed needs to refresh and update every user’s newsfeed more often.


3. Facebook launches public content solutions

This piece of news is worth taking note.

Facebook has opened up the keyword API to partners to analyse data behind public conversations happening on the platform. This is a step that might allow businesses to conduct proper social media monitoring, where they can listen with intent what their target audience are saying in general and about their brand.

Currently, some paid apps allow brands to do this. But small businesses and brands have no way to do so without forking out a large sum of money to watch online conversations every month on Facebook.


4. Whatsapp to users: Calm your tits

Jan Koum, cofounder of Whatsapp, reiterates their stand that they will not revamp or go against their privacy policy to feed Facebook its user data.

Whatsapp users should now forget about the privacy concerns and move on (at least until there are further developments)


5. Facebook’s Facial Recognition feature a boon

Privacy concerns, I get it. Creepy, yes it is.

But the silver lining is buried in the body of this article. The feature is promising in terms of the AI ability that Mark Zuckerberg has always wanted to develop.

We have desired for a long time the AI ability to decide sentiment, whether it is positive, negative, or neutral. Or even more intricate capabilities to perhaps detect sarcasm, etc. These will spare you (and the admin staff you hire) a lot of time in analysing online conversations and determining the sentiments.


6. Facebook Events just got eventful

  1. Events and Location Check-ins becoming more important. Facebook has made them more visible through mobile user profiles.
  2. Event Pages have also been updated to complement the new newsfeed design
  3. Do you organise events on Facebook often? Well, this feature just got better. You can duplicate Events on Facebook easily now - no more event creation from scratch!


7. Facebook Pages got Page Managers worried

Did you miss all the hype about the change to Facebook Pages? When the news went around, Page Managers broke out in furore when they thought that Facebook would bury tabs. You guessed it, most of the social media “gurus” jumped on the bandwagon until someone who had the new update rebuked their assumptions.

The new design features 2 columns. This makes Facebook Pages look more like a website. The left column resembles a navigation menu while the right column features all the content. Apparently, Facebook has decided not to standardise what would appear on the left column. “It will vary from business to business”, according to their newsroom writer. Read about the changes in detail here.

I really like the weekly overview they have on the right side of the cover photo and removal of the bothersome admin panel which usually meant that I need to scroll down before I could see my Page. What about you?


8. Facebook continues to refine its ad offerings for businesses

Change is really the only constant for Facebook, and particularly for businesses.

  1. In the simplest change this month, Facebook has updated its Ads Manager to allow you to change the currency and time zone more easily now. I’ve been waiting for this for some time!
  2. In another piece of important news, Facebook has expanded the capabilities of Lookalike Audience. Now, you can create lookalike audiences for website visitors, existing app users, and even Fans. Moving on, I will use this option and report the results here. Do try it yourself and see if the these options are more effective in achieving your social media goals. I’m confident they will!
  3. Good news just keep coming in for businesses. I didn’t notice this until InsideFacebook reported it. Facebook has reportedly improved its reach and budget estimates. For a given budget, Facebook now shows you how many percent of your potential target audience you are able to reach. It has also allowed advertisers to put a maximum to the number of times an ad is served to a unique user.
  4. Minor changes were made to Power Editor. Some partner categories were moved to demographics and behaviour section. It seems like Facebook is making the target audience setup more intuitive for marketers who were educated on the ways they always defined segments in terms of geographic, demographics, psychographics, and behavioural variables!

Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments below!

Jason How

Jason has an eye for ROI and believes that all marketing strategists should take a data-driven approach. His brand portfolio includes household brands like Seoul Garden and International Volunteer Day, an initiative of the Ministry of Community, Culture, and Youth (MCCY). When he's not busy with numbers, he can become a real glutton.

  • http://www.mybusinesspresence.com/ Karen Clark

    I noticed your Page doesn’t have the new update and I’ve been hard pressed to find anyone who does. I know Facebook itself and some major brands have it, and oddly enough a cute little nonprofit Page with only 87 likes has it but lots do not. Any clue why there’s been a stall in getting it? Very strange since it seemed like they were serious this time.

    • http://jasonhjh.com/ Jason HJH

      Hey Karen,

      It is. The only plausible explanation is that the Page Admins joined the waitlist earlier than I did.

      What about you?

      • http://www.mybusinesspresence.com/ Karen Clark

        I don’t know, I joined the wait list right away and still nothing! Frustrating!

        • http://jasonhjh.com/ Jason HJH

          Not many Pages have it yet apparently, and I think the rollout could very well be random. Our top social media strategists like Mari Smith with over 100K fans have not seen the change yet…

          I feel you but all we can do is wait now. :)

  • http://clowiescorner.wordpress.com/ Clowie

    I clicked on the link in No. 7 and got a “page not found”.

    • http://jasonhjh.com/ Jason HJH

      Hey Clowie,

      Thank you for pointing that out. I made a couple of typo errors when I pasted those links. It’s resolved now.

      Let me know if you still have any problems with it, thanks!


      • http://clowiescorner.wordpress.com/ Clowie

        Thank you!