Groups, Communities & Privacy – Everything You Need To Know About Facebook F8 2019 New Facelift and Core Updates
Facebook has revealed their privacy, community and groups core updates in the biggest social media network update to date – how does this impact users and business?
Facebook have publicly announced their latest core updates, pivot, and focus moving forward in a bid to differentiate the most popular social media network in the world, from it’s other leading network Instagram at the F8 conference. Here’s the take-home…
App Facelift and Groups/Community Focus
That familiar blue branding is getting a total makeover! After years of identity, Facebook is diffusing the instantly recognisable blue and subduing to a mostly white interface. Believed to be in a bid to migrate away from the negative press over the last 12 years – where users have come to associate Facebook (blue) with data leaks and privacy scandals in the mainstream news worldwide.
Alongside the pale/white interface, the desktop version is being tab orientated to mirror more of the mobile interface navigation style.
Each of the Facebook elements will now have a tab navigation system to allow users to more easily navigate the semi-bloated features of Facebook that have been amalgamated over the years.
Similar to the desktop viewport, the mobile viewport has an equal shift in branding, heavily scaling back on that familiar Facebook blue, in favour of a white dominated interface.
Privacy and NewsFeed Shift – The Real Focus
Following on from the news scandals, and a fear that Facebook and Instagram we’re becoming too similar in usage, Facebook is actually seriously pivoting from the core – whereby the main focus shift for users and for business will be on private groups and communities. This is a MAJOR shift and a MASSIVE opportunity for businesses and brands.
Groups have been a major player for Facebook, and a growing interest for the largest social network. With the new shift, there will be much more emphasis on groups/communities and a movement away from the typical newsfeed.
With a shift to the newsfeed, and the main algorithm, users will start to see relevant Groups content in their user feed – and a true community feel will start to progress outside of the typical friends connection. Almost like a massive scale world-wide BuddyPress community.
Much like Google, the emphasis will be on ‘local search’ – adding in the ability to ‘meet new people’ local to the user. As well as things like a shot across the bows at LinkedIn with ‘Local Jobs’ and network additions that could bring about a head to head between Facebook and the popular job search social network LinkedIn directly.
Meeting new friends, from a local city, workplace or school will be a big emphasis in expanding the digital network into the real-world of the user.
The big emphasis here is to assure users of the validity and community building potential; both online and offline of the Facebook network and dilute fears that the tool has become nothing more than a viral manipulation tool for news and advertisers.
The events tab has a greater emphasis and control – showing users what’s happening in the real world around them and local to them. Again, a shift to tie in the digital world with the real-world is very powerful, and gives a great boost to businesses who need to present themselves at local events and much more.
New Group Tools
Following on from the massive shift in potential focus to communities and groups, Facebook is adding in a boatload of new group features. Users can ask questions more freely and find relevance to Health Support, Gaming, and previously mentioned Jobs, as well as greater features to the Buying and Selling potential of Facebook – again, potentially a head to head against eBay in some respects with Marketplace.
With the new subset of tools, the community aspects of Facebook Groups will be opened up, with greater accessibility and usability.
Facebook Live Updates
Facebook Live has a massive new potential for business, where users are going to be able to “enable buyers to ask questions and place orders without leaving the live broadcast” – opening up the opportunity for smaller businesses to really connect more deeply with they buyers and audience.
Rolled out in 14 countries as a pilot test, Facebook Dating is a massive update and platform development. Taking the above into consideration, you can already understand how Facebook is being seriously differentiated from Instagram, and pulled into a full blown digital-real world synergy of connection people – the original purpose of the platform.
New features, such as Secret Crush, are being rolled out to the Dating aspect of the Facebook platform, and a further expansion into more countries means that soon, if successful, this could have a very major impact in the already bloated online dating space. Going head to head with massive successful brands like Tinder, Facebook Dating could seriously shake up the online dating community.
MarketPlace – New Shipping Options
A new system to make payments directly on Facebook itself, and with a greater control of shipping options, means existing and new businesses could have a massive potential to explore whole new strategies and reach a far greater audience than ever before. The business and sales opportunities of Marketplace paired with the focus on community building could be a real gem for local and small businesses, as well as start up businesses.
Facebook Portal – Speech Interface
The lesser known, but growing Facebook Portal, speech interface is being brought to more regions, as well as having some core feature additions, including but not limited to end to end encrypted WhatsApp video chat; again a shift of focus to privacy as paramount importance to it’s user base.
To counter the bad press on privacy, moves like this, that focus heavily on encryption and private transfer of information between users across the Facebook group of products is going to claw back a lot of faith in the network for it’s positive moves to protect it’s users data.
Portal was launched initially in the USA, and was well received – better than expected. So we should see this technology roll out to Canada and then into Europe/UK throughout 2019.
Some reports are showing that Portal will soon be expanding it’s toolset, being able to turn your home TV set into an interactive video device, gaining a great USP over Amazon Echo and so forth.
For both users and business, the latest F8 Facebook announcements is a lot to take in, and a massive shift of emphasis. All being very positive, the new changes suggest that we should see some amazing opportunities to explore for new business, small business and existing large brands – connection deeper with the audience and opening up new opportunities to tie in the digital world relationship, with the real world. Something our worldwide communities are in desperate need of globally.
We believe the updates are extremely positive, and we’re very excited to explore the new opportunities as they are rolled out to the market.
We’d love to hear your thoughts – let us know what you think of the Facebook F8 2019 announcements…
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