There was quite a lot of buzz around Facebook’s IPO – why people would or wouldn’t be buying shares, whether grabbing shares would be a good financial decision, and what the IPO meant for the future of the social network. But along with the IPO there came some new changes to Facebook, changes that deserve a closer look:
1. Ads: The IPO was all about money and money on Facebook means ads. If you manage a page you may have noticed new numbers below your posts.
These numbers indicate how many people your post reached and what percentage of your audience that is. You’ll be surprised at how low this number can actually be – many pages are seeing percentages in the teens and low twenties on most of their posts. And that is why to the right of this percentage you now see this little promote box.
Because of the algorithm Facebook uses to display posts in newsfeeds, your posts will never be seen by all – or even most – of your fans. But now Facebook is asking you to purchase the ability to show your post to more people. This isn’t a new option (promoted posts have been available as an ad option), but the fact that Facebook has moved the option to create an ad to your main screen illustrates Facebook’s push for advertising revenue. Using this new “promote” option, admins cannot target the ad to a selected audience (as they can in traditional Facebook advertising) and fans will also know which posts have been promoted. Facebook also made changes to their traditional advertising. Instead of choosing a particular advertising program, users now indicate what will be promoted (a URL, event, group, etc.) and choose an “objective,” either “like my page” or “click on my ad or sponsored story.” Depending on the objective chosen, Facebook automatically charges per click or per impression.
2. Mobile: There are a few new interesting changes for Facebook mobile:
- On the growing advertising front, the formerly ad-free mobile app will now display ads to users.
- There is a new mobile Pages App that allows admins some perks they never had before, including the ability to receive push notifications for wall posts and the availability of insights.
- Facebook also released a new Facebook Camera App (iPhone only so far), that lets users add filters to their photos similar to Instagram (which Facebook recently bought for $1 billion).
3. New Admin Settings: Pages are now allowed different levels of administrators. These levels – manager, content creator, moderator, advertiser, and Insights Analyst – can all have varying levels of access to your page. This could be great if you have interns or other staff sometimes working on your page.
4. Scheduling Posts: Page admins can now schedule future posts, up to six months in the future and at 15 minute intervals. This is an interesting new option and could be useful for scheduling updates when out of the office or over the weekend. But, Facebook is a very timely platform and scheduling posts too far into the future and not being available to monitor posts could become problematic.
Facebook changes often cause some strife among users, and these recent updates are no exception. These certainly won’t be the last of Facebook changes, so as soon as you get used to them, be ready for more!