The Facebook Redesign - 'The Future is Private'

This year’s Facebook Developer Conference ‘F8 2019’ kicked off yesterday in California.

Facebook decided to pop the recording of the Day 1 presentations into my newsfeed, so I settled down with a cuppa and my notebook, and I’ll summarise it for you below.

First up was the keynote speech from CEO Mark Zuckerberg, followed by presentations by the various department leaders on the latest in technology for facebook and it’s ‘family of apps’, Messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram etc.

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The main theme was privacy. Zuckerberg jokingly acknowledged that they don’t have the strongest reputation when it comes to privacy, and they certainly want to change that. He wants to make Facebook a ‘privacy focussed social platform’.

He talked about how when Facebook started, it was all about the Virtual Town Square, a bustling space where everything is public. He wants to make people feel that Facebook is also a place for private connections, creating the Virtual Living Room.

The ‘New Look’ Facebook - FB5

There have been 4 major Facebook versions in it’s history, this being the 5th. FB5 is rolling out now in the US and heading this way over the coming weeks.

It’s no longer blue, featuring a cleaner white interface, and the icon has had an upgrade too with scrolling imagery within the F.

The ‘new’ Facebook will have a bigger focus on communities, with a groups tab putting all content from your groups together for you in one place, including suggestions of other groups based on your behaviours in Facebook.

There was also mention of being able to pause the news feed, so you could pick up where you left off! This wasn’t met with as much whooping and cheering as I would’ve expected, but I liked it.

‘The Best Private Messaging Experience’

There’s been talk of this already, but all the messaging apps will be combined, to create what they call ‘the best private messaging experience’. A new word for me, ‘Interoperability’, was used a lot, basically meaning the systems will all work together (and Facebook have control of everything!).

They’re calling the new messenger ‘Light Speed’. They say it’ll be the fastest messenger platform on the planet, and using less battery and less storage than ever before. They’re also creating Messenger for desktop, which will be available on macOS and Windows.

Co-watching videos with friends is a new thing. So you message your friend and say ‘Shall we watch the new episode of Love Island?’ (or maybe something a bit more high brow) and you can watch it together live in messenger.

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Within the new messenger, there will be a ‘friends’ tab, which will show facebook posts, Instagram stories, WhatsApp status updates ONLY from your connections with no public content.

WhatsApp Payments

In India they’re trialing payments in Whatsapp. They hope that soon it will be as easy to send a payment as it is to send a photo. That’s pretty cool.

Messenger for Business

Over 20bn messages have been sent between people and businesses to date. New features being rolled out for all businesses are appointment booking, including real time availability and reminders, and messenger lead generation templates for advertising, as well as payments within messenger.

More on Groups

They say they’re committed to ensuring that facebook groups are a safe space. They’re making a clearer report function meaning they can remove groups which violate their policies.

Community groups will also have added features to suit the type of group. For example, health support groups will now have an option to ask an admin to post anonymously for you, local selling groups will have a checkout function, and gaming groups will allow instant messaging chats.

Facebook Dating & Secret Crush

Well, here it is. Users can create a dating profile separate to their main profile, and only visible to others who have signed up to Facebook dating. It can match users based on their likes, location, shared groups and events etc. But this is my favourite bit (if I was single of course). It allows you to create a private list of your connections on Facebook, so people you already know - maybe acquaintances, maybe an old friend - that you have a secret crush on. The only way this person will know that you’ve selected them, is if they’re signed up to Facebook dating too and have added you to their list. Then you match, and take it from there!

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Instagram

The instragram feed was barely mentioned. I’ve read previously about a new horizontal swipe instead of the vertical scrolling, but no more was said on this so perhaps it’s been scrapped.

They did talk about the likes being hidden. Instead of seeing how many people like a post, you’ll just see a list of names (you could add them up of course if you wish). The owner of the post will see the like count, but only them. This is currently being tested in Canada, so we’ll see if this ends up rolling out!

The focus was mainly on Stories. Another new word for me, ‘Ephemeral’, meaning lasting for a short time, was used a lot. They speak of this as an added privacy feature, which I suppose it is. People can post freely to stories without the worry that it will could come back and bite them on the backside in years to come (unless someone screenshots it of course, but they didn’t mention that).

The Instagram camera is having an overhaul, with the new ‘create mode’, the focus being that they want to ‘help people tell their stories’. There will also be a new ‘donations’ sticker, meaning you can instantly add your cause to your stories, making it easier than ever for viewers to donate (this was met with much whooping and cheering').

There are a few changes in Instagram shopping. There will now be a shopping experience within explore, the roll out of direct checkout continues with more brands being added, and there will also be the option for creators (celebrities/influencers) to tag products in their feed too.

Instagram and Anti-Bullying

It’s clear that Social Media, and paticularly Instagram need to up their game where this is concerned. They talked about a few new features such as ‘away mode’ which can be activated if the user is going through a difficult time, and a ‘nudge’ system where a user is asked to rethink any aggressive content.

AR & VR

They talked about Augmented Reality in Instagram and opening up the beta? I think that means that developers can create their own filters and stuff? Someone techie might have to correct me on that. It was a lot of developer talk but the shopping stuff did spark my interest…

Then they went on to Virtual Reality and having a virtual disco with your friends all in their living rooms. Not sure I can get on board with all that! Then there was stuff about casting to the TV. I was zoning out by this point, I’ll let the screenshots tell the rest!

There are two new headsets coming out that everyone seemed very excited about. He said they were starting at 3.99, I thought wow - bargs! But he meant $399 of course. He then announced that all the attendees of F8 would be going home with a freebie! Cue much more whooping. They’re called Oculus Rift 5 and Oculus Quest, if you’re interested! Available for pre-order now and shipping from 21st May.

PORTAL

I’d never even heard of this. But they have it in the US already and it’s rolling out to Europe later this year. It’s this smart display screen you have in your home to connect with others, like video calling but so much more ‘in the room’. AR plays a part in this too, Zuckerberg shared a photo of his mum reading a bedtime story to his kids, and his mum doing a roar and her face turning into a wolf. It did look pretty good.

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They got excited about this MIB style scanner thing too (more whooping). Exciting I suppose, if you like that sort of thing.

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They will have integration with Amazon, so Alexa Skills, and the Amazon Prime video app all in one place. I’m don’t get that excited about tech…but I must admit I do want one!

Summary of the Summary

So in summary; they want to shake off their bad rep when it comes to privacy, and want people to feel safe in their ‘virtual living room’.

My favourite bits;

  • Pausing the news feed

  • Payments in messenger

  • Groups tab

  • Secret crush (if I was single)

I’m looking forward to the changes, whilst STILL patiently waiting for the music sticker on my Instagram Stories.

What do you think of the changes ahead? Let me know!

A Proper Office!

I’m ridiculously excited to now be working in my own home office!

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I’ve spent over a year working at the kitchen table, and whilst it’s proximity to the kettle is ideal, it had become a bit of a pain. Having to clear away my ever growing pile of stuff (mainly notebooks) every evening to eat was annoying. And it felt like I was always in there, and there was no separation between work and home.

Our third bedroom was quite redundant really. We had it as a guest room but as 99% of our friends and family live within 3 miles of here it was seldom used. So one day I took the old bed apart and started planning!

I asked one of my social media clients, Missiato Design & Build, to add some electrical sockets and put in a worktop across the window wall. The room gets a lot of sun so I asked a local blinds company, ABC Blinds, to make and fit Venetian blinds. My husband was able to rescue some old boardroom chairs that were destined for the tip, which was a bit of a result! My Christmas list on Amazon then included lots of office type accessories! My husband painted the room for me and also spray painted the manky old brown filing cabinet that we had hiding in the loft, which now looks perfect!

I’m so happy with it all, I don’t even mind being in here on a Saturday!

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New Year's Resolutions

Here we are, the eve of 2019.

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What a year it’s been! 2018, having only passing my course in May, has gone better than I could have imagined for Running Social. Plenty of new clients on board and a workload to keep me busy.

But I’ve let one important thing slide! My own Social Media. I keep telling people, a small business on social media needs consistent, frequent posting. Yet I’ve become ashamed of my own channels as I’ve been focusing on those of my clients.

So that’s going to have to change in 2019 if I want another successful year!

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That’s my New Year’s Resolution. Plus, eat better, drink more water, shout less, etc. All the usual ones!

Happy New Year to everyone - here’s to a successful one!

Are you making the most of your social media channels?

“We might as well set up an account on all social media platforms, it’s free right?”

Yes it is ‘free’, but just setting up an account, adding your logo and pushing out a sales pitch every now and then could actually do more harm than good to your brand.

Posting infrequent uninteresting content will gain very little engagement, most likely causing any initial excitement you had for the platform to dwindle, meaning you’ll put in even less effort.

Having a strategy is crucial.  Who are you talking to?  What is your brand message? Your ‘tone of voice’? What are your content segments and how will you source your content? 

Social media done right can build confidence and loyalty to your brand.

Other points to bear in mind;

Your customers are on social media.

Social Media isn’t just a platform to shout about your product, (nobody will hear you anyway if you’re not doing it right), but it’s a way to listen to your target audience and build relationships with potential customers.

We call it ‘Social Listening’.

Social Proof

According to Sprout Social, 74% of customers consult social media before committing to a purchase.  If your customer looks you up, what do you want them to see?  A semi-abandoned news feed with the occasional ‘buy me/hire me/use me’ post?  Or, regular visual engaging content, displaying your brand’s personality and vibe, as well as a clear message about your product or service.

Your potential customers can also see reviews and recommendations left by real people, boosting your credibility and gaining immediate trust.

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Social Advertising

Paid social media advertising can be a cost-effective way to spend your advertising budget.  Take Facebook for example.  With their paid advertising service you are tapping into Facebooks wealth of data on its 2.28 Billion monthly active users (as at q2 2018).  Do you want to find people who have a close friend that’s recently got engaged?  People who live within 10 miles of your business and have an interest in gardening?  People who have a birthday in the next month?  People with grandchildren? English speakers in Southern France?  You can do that.  There are whole host of targeting options available meaning you can choose who will see your advert and therefore spend your budget wisely.  You may be surprised how far your budget will go.

You can also set up a pixel in your website, meaning you can track your conversions from your social advertising, and re-target those who have visited your site, or even a specific page on your site.

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So, there is a bit of work involved in making the most of your ‘free’ accounts!

If you’d like to get your Social Media working harder for your business, get in touch for a chat.

I'm back

It’s been a tough couple of months. After the elation of passing my course and getting myself set up as a ‘proper’ freelancer, we were hit with some devastating news of a close friend passing away very suddenly.

The last few weeks have gone by in a bit of a blur. A lot of the time having the feeling that it’s just a horrible dream that I’ll wake up from.

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Luckily, I’ve been able to spend a lot of time with friends and family, including a holiday in Trevone (my happy place), and business is going really well with some lovely new clients to work with.

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My own social media accounts have been much neglected. ‘Moving On’ is a horrible phrase, so I won’t use it, but it is time to focus on the future. And to look back on the past with a smile rather than a tear.

For Gem

The Next Chapter...

Firstly, a big THANK YOU to everyone who has supported @BristolOnTheRun on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and here on the blog over the last few months. Whether it be with interviews, likes/comments/retweets/shares, or participating with the #BristolRunChat hashtag, it’s been a real pleasure sharing it all with you.

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As part of my training to be a Social Media Manager, I’ve been running these accounts not only to promote and celebrate running in our beautiful city, but also to test, measure, reflect and refine what works, and what doesn’t, in the weird and wonderful world of Social Media.

While I complete my final report this week, I’m looking back on what I’ve learned and how far I’ve come since trying to work out how to follow a conversation on Twitter back in October!

There have been highs (Sophie Raworth replying to my tweet, and co-hosting a major national tweet chat), and lows (Facebook algorithm and organic reach struggles), but overall it’s been a brilliant experience. Being able to spend hours upon hours each week researching, writing, chatting and photographing all things running, whilst being able to call it ‘work’ has been great.

As I embark on my career as a Freelance Social Media Manager, I am rebranding ‘Bristol On The Run’ to ‘Running Social’.

I’ve landed my first client already but have room for a few more. If you or anyone you know is in need of some help with social media, please do get in touch…via BOTR or using the contact details below.

Kathy Tiley

E: kathy@runningsocial.media

T: 07921 123314