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Facebook's F8 Conference Unveils New Features Businesses Will Love

Albizu Garcia
Albizu Garcia

An upvote/downvote button, a new Messenger plug-in are just some of coming features.

Facebook's F8 conference recently took place during which the company's CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, and his team unveiled future advancements to the world's popular social media network. Among these announcements were many exciting innovations that will have a positive effect on the digital marketing industry.  

Facebook has become one of the most effective, affordable and targeted marketing platforms in the world. Ads on the network can be targeted by age, occupation, geographic location and various interests. What's more, Facebook advertising is easy to automate. The advanced advertising tools do most of the work for businesses.

During the F8 conference, many major announcements were made that should be getting businesses excited about the future. Here are the top five F8 conference announcements and how they will benefit business marketers.

1. Up and down votes

For years, Facebook users have been clamoring for a "dislike" button as an alternative to Facebook’s "like" feature. While Zuckerberg and his team are not delivering on that particular want, they are meeting users in the middle with a system of up and downvotes that can be applied to comments.

With this new feature, users can vote positively or negatively on specific content, and Facebook's newsfeed algorithm will rank upvoted content or comments higher, increasing the visibility of the post.

What this means for businesses

Direct customer feedback is invaluable in today's market. If business marketers are posting or commenting on behalf of a business and see their votes going up, then they will know that message or strategy is working. On the flip side, if they see a lot of downvotes, then they will know that they may need to alter their messaging.

Furthermore, if marketers are commenting on industry-specific pages and their comment gets enough upvotes, then their message will become more visible to their target audience without having to spend any money to boost it.

2. WhatsApp Business

Facebook owns the popular text messaging app, WhatsApp and last year, it was announced that a new WhatsApp Business service was coming. This year, it is rolling out for testing in some markets.

With WhatsApp Business, companies can receive direct messages from customers and reply in kind. The app also gives businesses valuable insights into their audience and overall customer service effectiveness in the form of statistics. Brands can easily access how many customers received, read and replied to a message.

WhatsApp Business is poised to be a beneficial tool for customer relationship management, allowing brands to apply labels to incoming contacts and automate quick responses.

What this means for businesses

Direct communication with customers is never a bad thing. Using WhatsApp Business, marketers will have yet another direct pipeline to their audience that is easy to use and can be controlled from any mobile device.

As this continues to roll out in markets across the country, WhatsApp Business has the potential to be a strong alternative to Facebook Messenger for businesses.

3. Facebook Dating

One of Zuckerberg's biggest announcements at the F8 conference was the arrival of Facebook Dating. This service will allow users to interact as they would on other dating sites, with the ability to turn on or off image sharing once a chat is initialized.

One of the most interesting aspects of Facebook Dating is how it will change the game when it comes to friend requests. No longer will people send random friend requests to strangers in the hopes of securing a date. In fact, if users are already friends on Facebook, then they cannot match on the dating service.

What this means for businesses

With Facebook News Feed advertising becoming more crowded and problematic, brands will have an all-new and sure-to-be-popular feature to turn to for increased opportunities. A new service such as Facebook Dating will be another opportunity for businesses to test ads.

Additionally, if users are not friend-requesting random strangers anymore, this helps Facebook more accurately target advertising based on social circles, and therefore, better results for marketers.

4. Messenger popularity and features

Ad spend on Facebook News Feed placement has gone up over the years as the network has risen in popularity. As a result, users are paying more for less space. Fortunately, recent numbers revealed at the F8 conference point to increased activity on the Facebook Messenger app.

A new Messenger plug-in was also announced, which will allow customers to contact businesses directly through Facebook Messenger from a third-party website.

What this means for businesses

Messenger's rising popularity means that the social media tide could be shifting. Now marketers can focus their efforts on the Messenger platform at a lower cost. While the News Feed still resides on top of the mountain, the gap is closing year by year.

The new Messenger plug-in is a tremendous asset for marketers; it opens another door for direct communication with customers without having to make use of an expensive chatbot. However, the true benefit that this plug-in affords a marketing team is the ability to target customers again once their initial chat has ended.

5. Augmented reality

Augmented reality services were a huge part of Facebook's focus this year. Through AR technology, brands will have the opportunity to create their own worlds using the Messenger camera.

Facebook is also using the new Oculus Go headset to roll this out. This is the world's first stand-alone VR headset, and it costs only $199.

What this means for businesses

Customizable AR environments could be the future of marketing. When brands can control what people see and target specific ads to them, then the world becomes a malleable marketing tool. A 14-year-old might look through their Oculus headset and see a billboard for a new superhero movie, while a working professional in their 40s might look at the same environment and see an automobile ad.

When the world is this immersive and customizable, marketing has no limits.

Facebook is still the future

This year's Facebook F8 conference laid out an exciting social landscape for years to come. Businesses can feel confident that Facebook’s advertising relevancy is not going to change. In fact, these five advancements – coupled with Facebook’s already impressive marketing features – keep the social network on top as one of the best ways for brands to engage with their audiences and this won't be shifting any time soon.

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Albizu Garcia
Albizu Garcia Member
CEO and Co-Founder of GAIN, a marketing technology company that automates the social media and content publishing workflow for agencies and social media managers, their clients, and anyone working in teams.