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Facebook frustrating marketers yet again with new feature (why Likes aren’t enough anymore)

Year after year Facebook “likes” have been the definitive measure of success for marketers. This is all changing with a new feature already in place.

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Facebook now wants you to ask “fans” for more

Facebook has been persuading businesses for years to buy Page likes if they wanted their businesses to reach the News Feed. While this may have been true in the beginning, Facebook has continually revamped their algorithms and promotions, and the “like” is no longer what it used to be.

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If you need further proof, look no further than the newest Facebook feature. Marketers are seeing restriction on Pages, which is in turn decreasing the number of people who can see their posts, which decreases the value of the “like.” In an effort to combat this, Facebook has created a new echelon above the “like.”

“See First” adds another layer to the system

A new tier for Pages to aspire to if they want to reach the people that follow their brand. The new tier, “See First,” is live. If you are in the United States, you should be able to go to any of the pages you follow: friends, Pages (brands), and public figures and add them to your “See First” list. Think of this list as your “A-List,” the brands and people that you want to “see first” when you look at your News Feed. When you add someone to your See First list, you will indeed see their posts first, along with a blue star.

When you think about this “A-List” versus the multiple hoops Page’s had to jump through to ensure they were being seen and “liked,” See First really has the potential to be the next “big thing” for marketers; of course, this only works if your followers add you to their lists. If followers do add brands, influencers, and favorite people to their See First lists, it will be much easier to push marketing and sales messages to their News Feeds.

Time to nag your followers?

With this new features, the Facebook News Feed also has the potential to become more than just a collection of your friends’ adventures. If you follow several news sources, you have the ability to turn your feed into a news reader by adding The New York Times and the like to your See First list. If music is your thing, adding all your favorite artists to your See First list could turn your News Feed into a live Rolling Stone-esque magazine feed. The same goes for writing, sports, fashion, and any number of other special interest topics.

Greg Marra, the Facebook product manager in charge of See First, downplayed the impact of See First on marketers, saying, “I don’t think the impact is going to be very large.” Any time Facebook shakes things up, marketers tend to take notice. Whether or not it has a long-term impact remains to be seen, but I’d keep my eye on this feature, as marketers may be actively nagging followers to add them to their See First lists.

What do you think? Is this just another way for Facebook to shake things up, or could this become a useful way to reach followers (or follow your favorite brands)?

#FacebookSeeFirst

Jennifer Walpole is a Senior Staff Writer at The American Genius and holds a Master's degree in English from the University of Oklahoma. She is a science fiction fanatic and enjoys writing way more than she should. She dreams of being a screenwriter and seeing her work on the big screen in Hollywood one day.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Donald

    July 20, 2015 at 3:10 pm

    I think FB is just throwing a bunch of stuff on the wall and is standing back and watching what sticks. They don't seem to have a rhym or reason why the pull some of the stuff the do. The problem many of us have is that we may build a following of hundreds of people, but our post do not go out to all of them, only a few of the "active" ones! Arrrr! Don't get me started!

  2. Pingback: Facebook Notes to get a makeover, looks a little too much like Medium - The American Genius

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Social Media

Brace yourselves: Facebook has re-opened political advertising space

(SOCIAL MEDIA) After a break due to misinformation in the past election, Facebook is once again allowing political advertising slots on their platform – with some caveats.

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Facebook open on phone in a wallet case, open for political advertising again.

After a months-long ban on political ads due to misinformation and other inappropriate behavior following the election in November, Facebook is planning to resume providing space for political advertising.

Starting on Thursday, March 4th, advertisers were able to buy spots for ads that comprise politics, what Facebook categorizes as “social issues”, and other potentially charged topics previously prohibited by the social media platform.

The history of the ban is complicated, and its existence was predicated on a profound distrust between political parties and mainstream news. In the wake of the 2016 election and illicit advertising activity that muddied the proverbial waters, Facebook had what some would view as a clear moral obligation to prevent similar sediment from clouding future elections.

Facebook delivered on that obligation by removing political advertising from their platform prior to Election Day, a decision that would stand fast in the tumultuous months to follow. And, while Facebook did temporarily suspend the ban in Georgia during the senate proceedings, political advertisements nevertheless remained absent from the platform in large until last week.

The removal of the ban does have some accompanying caveats—namely the identification process. Unlike before, advertisers will have to go to great lengths to confirm their identities prior to launching ads. Those ads will most likely also need to come from domestic agencies given Facebook’s diligent removal of foreign and malicious campaigns in the prior years.

The moral debate regarding social media advertising—particularly on Facebook—is a deeply nuanced and divided one. Some argue that, by removing political advertising across the board, Facebook has simply limited access for “good actors” and cleared the way for illegitimate claims.

Facebook’s response to this is simply that they didn’t understand fully the role ads would play in the electoral process, and that allowing those ads back will allow them to learn more going forward.

Either way, political advertising spots are now open on Facebook, and the overall public perception seems controversial enough to warrant keeping an eye on the progression of this decision. It wouldn’t be entirely unexpected for Facebook to revoke access to these advertisements again—or limit further their range and scope—in the coming months and years.

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Social Media

Twitter to start charging users? Here’s what you need to know

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Social media is trending toward the subscription based model, especially as the pandemic pushes ad revenue down. What does this mean for Twitter users?

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Twitter and other social media apps open on a phone being held in a hand. Will they go to a paid option subscription model?

In an attempt to become less dependent on advertising, Twitter Inc. announced that it will be considering developing a subscription product, as well as other paid options. Here’s the scoop:

  • The ideas for paid Twitter that are being tossed around include tipping creators, the ability to pay users you follow for exclusive content, charging for use of the TweetDeck, features like “undo send”, and profile customization options and more.
  • While Twitter has thought about moving towards paid for years, the pandemic has pushed them to do it – plus activist investors want to see accelerated growth.
  • The majority of Twitter’s revenue comes from targeted ads, though Twitter’s ad market is significantly smaller than Facebook and other competitors.
  • The platform’s user base in the U.S. is its most valuable market, and that market is plateauing – essentially, Twitter can’t depend on new American users joining to make money anymore.
  • The company tried user “tips” in the past with its live video service Periscope (RIP), which has now become a popular business model for other companies – and which we will most likely see again with paid Twitter.
  • And yes, they will ALWAYS take a cut of any money being poured into the app, no matter who it’s intended for.

This announcement comes at a time where other social media platforms, such as TikTok and Clubhouse, are also moving towards paid options.

My hot take: Is it important – especially during a pandemic – to make sure that creators are receiving fair compensation for the content that we as users consume? Yes, 100%. Pay people for their work. And in the realm of social media, pictures, memes, and opinions are in fact work. Don’t get it twisted.

Does this shift also symbolize a deviation from the unpaid, egalitarian social media that we’ve all learned to use, consume, and love over the last decade? It sure does.

My irritation stems not from the fact that creators will probably see more return on their work in the future. Or on the principal of free social media for all. It stems from sheer greediness of the social media giants. Facebook, Twitter, and their counterparts are already filthy rich. Like, dumb rich. And guess what: Even though Twitter has been free so far, it’s creators and users alike that have been generating wealth for the company.

So why do they want even more now?

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Social Media

TikTok enters the e-commerce space, ready to compete with Zuckerberg?

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Setting up social media for e-commerce isn’t an uncommon practice, but for TikTok this means the next step competing with Facebook and Instagram.

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Couple taking video with mobile phone, prepared for e-commerce.

Adding e-commerce offerings to social media platforms isn’t anything new. However, TikTok, which is owned by the Chinese firm ByteDance, is rolling out some new e-commerce features that will place the social video app in direct competition with Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook and Instagram.

According to a Financial Times report, TikTok’s new features will allow the platform to create and expand its e-commerce service in the U.S. The new features will allow TikTok’s popular users to monetize their content. These users will be able to promote and sell products by sharing product links in their content. In return, TikTok will profit from the sales by earning a commission.

Among the features included is “live-streamed” shopping. In this mobile phone shopping channel, users can purchase products by tapping on products during a user’s live demo. Also, TikTok plans on releasing a feature that will allow brands to display their product catalogs.

Currently, Facebook has expanded into the e-commerce space through its Facebook Marketplace. In May 2020, it launched Facebook Shops that allows businesses to turn their Facebook and Instagram stories into online stores.

But, Facebook hasn’t had too much luck in keeping up with the video platform in other areas. In 2018, the social media giant launched Lasso, its short-form video app. But the company’s TikTok clone didn’t last too long. Last year, Facebook said bye-bye to Lasso and shut it down.

Instagram is trying to compete with TikTok by launching Instagram Reels. This feature allows users to share short videos just like TikTok, but the future of Reels isn’t set in stone yet. By the looks of it, videos on Reels are mainly reposts of video content posted on TikTok.

There is no word on when the features will roll out to influencers on TikTok, but according to the Financial Times report, the social media app’s new features have already been viewed by some people.

TikTok has a large audience that continues to grow. By providing monetization tools in its platform, TikTok believes its new tools will put it ahead of Facebook in the e-commerce game, and help maintain that audience.

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