Facebook had many things to announce in the F8 Conference and one of the most important topics had to do with its upcoming redesign.
Mark Zuckerberg shared once again his vision of a privacy-focused social media platform. He has talked about a change in Facebook’s future a few months ago and now he also acknowledges how it takes hard work to improve their reputation on privacy.
Their updated vision is now based on six principles:
- Private interactions
- Reduced permanence
- Secure Data Storage
Mark Zuckerberg mentioned that there is a new chapter for Facebook’s product and their goal is to “do what it takes to evolve and build the product that people want”
FB5 is the fresh design from Facebook that will come right away in the app and within the next months in the desktop version.
The biggest changes in Facebook’s redesign
Facebook is promising a fresh design that’s “simpler, faster, and more immersive”
If we had to summarize Facebook’s most important changes from the FB5 redesign, we would pick the following ones.
1. Putting the communities at the center
Facebook has mentioned that their new design will “put the communities at the center” of their product. They are acknowledging that Facebook started as a platform to bring people together. The next step is not to simply bring family and friends together but also people with similar interests.
Thus, the redesign will make it easier for people to find more relevant private spaces. Facebook found out that Groups can be one of the most engaging parts of the Facebook experience for people who share similar interests so the goal is to facilitate the nurturing of such communities.
For example, there will be new features for specific communities. In the Health Support groups, people will be able to ask questions without having their names show up. In job groups, there will be templates to make job posting easier. And in game groups, there will be the option to create different threads based on different topics.
2. Bigger focus on Groups
The increased focus on Groups will be reflected in the redesign. The Groups tab will be fresh to make the discovery easier while people will access a personalized feed with their activity among all groups.
This was a common challenge for engaged users on different groups so the option to access a hub with the activities could increase the levels of engagement.
Moreover, it will also be easier to find relevant group recommendations. Whether you’re in Marketplace or in the Gaming tab, you will still be able to find relevant groups. What’s also interesting is that there is a guarantee that we will start seeing more content from groups in our news feeds. This means that we should start filtering the groups that we really want to join to ensure that we’re making the most of the news feed experience and the idea of community building.
3. Stories see an increased importance
We know that Facebook enjoys seeing the growth of Stories. It’s not a surprise then that there will an increased promotion of Stories in the updated design.
Since Facebook has added “reduced permanence” in their main points for their future vision, there is a guarantee that Stories are here to stay.
4. Updating the Events tab
The Events tab will also see an update in the summer adding the option for people to discover interesting events in their area. There will also be recommendations of local businesses and the ability to plan a gathering with your friends for an event.
This can be a great opportunity for local businesses to stay relevant and promote their events directly through Facebook.
What these mean for marketers
Facebook is making it clear that they want to get away from the big focus on the newsfeed and our constant need to keep up with the latest algorithm changes. The goal is not on scaling anymore but they’re switching their gears towards maintaining their engagement and hopefully keeping people in the app.
It’s also interesting that the new cleaner design looks similar to Instagram’s design.
This means that Facebook is trying to stay away from its old and too familiar design to try out a new experience for users.
Brands and marketers cannot ignore such big changes when it comes to planning your Facebook marketing strategy.
For example, it’s not clear yet how these changes will affect Pages.
The increased focus on Groups might get us to adapt our strategies to focus on the community.
On the bright side, Facebook will push us to think of a two-way content that is not a simple broadcast of our news
From now on we need to treat our audiences as a growing community and meaningful engagement will be key.
If your brand can benefit from the creation of a Group then now is the time to consider creating it one. Beware, there’s no need to create one for the sake of it, but it’s useful to review your Facebook marketing strategy and your objectives before your tactics become ineffective.
Another thing we are noticing in the first look of the redesign is the increased focus on Stories. Facebook Stories are already growing the past few months and it seems that Facebook is not planning to downplay their growth anytime soon.
Thus, if you’re only creating Stories for Instagram up to now, you might want to explore Facebook’s Stories and how they can benefit your brand’s objectives.
Facebook’s wider focus on the community and the more private-type of messaging (whether it’s through Groups or Messenger) is coming from the fact that people are not keen anymore to interact in a completely public channel.
When we’re about to craft a future-proof Facebook marketing strategy, it’s good to consider its updated product vision and how it affects our own tactics.
Private interactions, reduced permanence and safety can be the key factors for a successful Facebook marketing strategy from now on.
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