July 21, 2017

Things are always changing at Facebook – just when you think you have worked out an optimal strategy, they switch it up and your audience reach chart slowly but surely starts inching downwards, leaving you scrambling to catch up.

It is interesting to note these changes, and how Page admins work to deal with them – like, for example, the recent trend of Pages working with Facebook’s emphasis on video without actually creating video.

How do they do this? Well, they utilise static images and convert them into videos. Clever, right? Well, kind of. No doubt it won’t take Facebook long to crack down on these and reduce their reach. But aside from “hacks”, there are always tests and updates being conducted across Facebook – there are so many variations of Facebook running at any one time that the version you see is very likely to be different to the one your friend sees.

To keep you updated on the latest, here are five new tests and features to look out for on Facebook.

1.You can Upload GIFs Direct – Facebook has been easing its long-standing opposition to GIFs lately, allowing them into ads, and more recently in comments, but this is a new option which they have quietly pushed through. You have, of course, been able to upload GIFs via third party platform links for some time, and some users have even reported being able to upload them directly like this for a few weeks, but it now seems like everyone has access.It does appear, however, that you can only upload GIFs natively via desktop, not mobile.To upload a GIF, all you have to do is click on the photo/video post option, then attach a GIF. You will get a notification that Facebook is processing your video, which takes a few seconds, then it will be up, and it will autoloop in the News Feed like any other GIF. You can also upload big files.

2.Page Listings on Profiles – Facebook has also tested a new option which would enable users to display the Facebook Pages they manage in their profile bio notes. It seems like the benefits of this addition would be minimal – while it would provide a more direct way to connect people through to the Pages you manage, which could help add context to who you are and what you do, that functionality wouldn’t add huge benefit for most.But then again, there could be a vanity element – many Page admins would take some level of pride in listing the Pages they are in charge of, and it could also help drive additional traffic. It could provide more benefits than it seems.

3.No More Editing Link Preview Data – Back in April, Facebook announced that as part of its ongoing effort to crack down on spam and fake news, it would be removing the ability for Page admins to edit the preview text, headlines and images on link preview posts.For those unaware, when you post a link on Facebook, you can edit all of these elements to customise it to the Facebook audience – you might have included an image that is not optimised for Facebook on the original post, or have used a headline that is intended for SEO, when you know a different format would perform better on Facebook. Right now you are still able to edit all of these features, however, as of July 17, you will no longer be able to do this. And many Page managers are displeased with this news.

4.Multiple Event Times – Facebook is also giving event managers the ability to share the event multiple times, in both News Feed and Messenger. We should see a more in depth overview of the benefits of this in the coming weeks.

5.New Live Stream Preview Notifications – The last update we will talk about that you need to look out for is a new live streaming preview, which doesn’t only notify you when a Page you follow is broadcasting in real time via a drop-down notification, but also shows you what they are sharing in a small video panel to entice you in. Facebook has been testing out various notifications of this type to get more people tuning into live broadcasts, underlining their video focus. This new variation, however, may be the most compelling yet, as it actually lets you see the broadcast, prompting you to view more.

So, that was my blog on 5 Facebook updates you need to keep an eye on in the coming weeks and months, I hope this was an informative read and thank you for reading, and if you have time check out our website, we can offer you a full Social Media service.

Limitless Digital – SEO Specialists