Whoever coined the phrase ‘nothing changes under the sun’ clearly wasn’t thinking about social media land. ‘Stay still for more than a second and risk people losing interest’ would be a more appropriate mantra, albeit not as catchy.
Here at Smoking Gun PR we don’t just take an interest in the ever-shifting face of the biggest networks, our livelihood depends on knowing exactly what’s going on when it comes to all channels. Facebook sets the standard in terms of improvements and updates, with an almost constant tinkering in order to make old offerings better, and introduce new tricks of the trade. So, here’s everything you need to know about big blue right now, in our professional opinion.
Facebook Journalism Project
Launched in January, FJP is basically a commitment to assisting news organisations get more out of their Facebook presence, a promise to help curb the trend for fake news and misleading information, and even extends as far as offering training courses for digital newsroom staff to make sure they understand exactly what can and should be done with the network to better reach the public. We recently looked at this in detail on our blog.
Facebook 360 Video
You’re probably aware of Facebook 360 Photos, but did you know the network has built on that framework to introduce the equivalent in video? In so far as digital storytelling goes, this provides brands with a unique way to present new visual narratives- literally allowing viewers to step into a video and rotate the camera themselves whilst the film plays on. In many ways, this is like a very basic version of Virtual Reality, not least given it can be combined with the standard-setting Samsung Gear headsets to deliver a truly immersive experience.
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More proof that snoozing is losing, LinkedIn should be concerned about new features that have been rolled out on Facebook Business Pages in North America. Companies can now create job postings for vacancies that appear within their news feed, and on a new Jobs tab. Applicants can apply via their Facebook Profile, with the network even autofilling basic information to speed the process up. Looking to exploit a lack of provision for lower skilled workers and those not actively looking for a new position, the potential is enormous.
Coming to a European account near you soon, here’s a video to explain more:
Standard video playback
The powers that be have decided video content on Facebook can now auto-play with the sound on as a default setting- increasing the likelihood of you actually paying attention. Moreover, improvements to the presentation of vertical video mean you won’t have to tilt a device horizontally to get the best out of film, and you can also continue to scroll through the newsfeed and set a video to play in a smaller screen-within-screen in the bottom corner of your browser window. Finally, a brand new app has been built which will allow you to show Facebook on any smart TV, allowing you to exhibit your finest productions on a larger screen.
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This one is still some way off, and is really an Uber initiative rather than Facebook, but bolsters the latter’s status as an essential network to be part of. Put simply, a patent has been applied for UberPool rides- whereby you share a car with someone heading in the same direction- that will see data from the social platform used to link people with shared interests and backgrounds. So rather than picking up or jumping in cars with a stranger, you’re more likely to find a friend of a friend, someone from your high school, or a person with similar Likes is sat next to you in traffic, reducing the chance of awkward conversations.