F8, Facebook’s developer conference, took place on April 30 – May 1, 2019. During the keynote speech, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced a number of updates to Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram, three of the world’s biggest social media platforms.
Facebook will have a new, simpler design, highlighting groups and events. The Groups tab will introduce a more prominent design and a personalized feed from groups, as opposed to just a general update feed from friends, making it easier to connect with people who share the same interests. With this new emphasis on groups, even business Pages can now join groups and take part in group discussions where they can engage with target customers and share content and events.
Facebook Dating is currently only available in Colombia, Thailand, Canada, Argentina, and Mexico. Although Facebook is expanding it to 14 new countries, Hong Kong has yet to make the list. At this stage, businesses won’t be able to take part or place ads in Facebook Dating, but Facebook is not ruling out introducing monetization opportunities for businesses in the future.
New business solutions
Messenger will be launching a number of business solutions designed to help businesses generate leads, drive in-store traffic and provide customer care. Among these solutions is lead generation template in Ads Manager. Businesses can create an ad that triggers an automated question-and-answer flow in Messenger to generate leads. In addition to the lead generation templates, Messenger will also launch an appointment booking interface which businesses can opt to integrate with their existing calendaring system. This functionality is still in beta and will be more widely available later this year.
Businesses in the US currently with in-app checkout on Instagram (still in beta) will be able to approve individuals, e.g. influencers, artists and celebrities, to tag checkout-enabled products from their shops and let followers purchase the items within the app. This new functionality will extend businesses’ reach to potential customers and facilitate the shopping experience for customers.
Instagram will be updating its camera interface and offer “Create Mode” which allows users to share a post without having to upload an existing photo or video. This feature, as Facebook stated, will benefit all accounts, business or personal.
Businesses can expect to be that much closer to their customers as Facebook rolls out all these exciting new features gradually in more countries.