Zuckerberg says “Keep it Facebook”

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The social media battle is one for your precious time. We have seen how it is taking an increasing proportion of the average person’s day, and with the rise of mobile devices, the bans on office use are less relevant. In fact, there are reports of companies softening their social network policies.

As the big beast in the social media jungle, Facebook has gone to great lengths to maintain its hold on the World’s time. And the big news stories from the Facebook F8 conference this month all go to show how the network is developing its capacity to inform and entertain us so that we will “keep it Facebook” and not stray away.

Facebook Marketing

F8 Highlights

Given that my digital agency, Hannon Digital, is focused predominantly on B2B, I am most excited about the business applications of Facebook Messenger that have been trailed at the conference. Messenger is used by 600 million people every month, and Facebook is intent on providing new, rich content to its users.

The business application comes courtesy of the integration with Zendesk. This customer service platform allows companies to deal with questions and requests through Facebook. And where it gets really interesting is that Facebook Messenger users will in the future be prompted, when they order something, to say whether they want to track the purchase through Messenger. If they say ‘yes’, they get one little bubble for that company on their Facebook page, where all the communication will reside. Goodbye to strings of emails in differing threads that you lose track of. (And hello to ‘always-on’ Facebook). We are told that you will be able to:

  • Make support requests
  • Alter your order
  • Request returns
  • Enter queries

All from one Facebook-hosted place. Very seductive, not only for B2C; I can see real future applications for B2B. Easier interaction with suppliers, from wherever they are, is what buyers crave.

The Social Network of Things

You will have heard of the Internet of Things, as your fridge and your house lighting get smart: but had you considered a role for social media? Well it appears to be on the way, if Mr. Zuckerberg has anything to say about it.

In 2013 Facebook acquired app builder Parse. They are introducing ‘push notifications’ that can potentially alert you that your garage door is open or your smoke alarm has gone off. That is the first stage, and even then I can see potential for an office or factory owner or manager to be alerted to problems at their workplace.

The next level is to send more complex information via gif images, and to track packages and other deliveries. It is all to be done using the Messenger platform.

Social Media Management

Rotating Video

The final development of interest is in the area of video. I have already reported on how Facebook is trying to offer richer video experiences as it has lost share to new entrants: and it is taking further steps to make it easier to embed Facebook video content into other sites. This will surely make it more attractive as a platform.

A specific development follows the acquisition of virtual reality (VR) headset maker Oculus. Using these VR headsets, you can now view 360 degree video, and Facebook says it is experimenting with live video. (YouTube is also getting into the 360 degree act).

Wearables, and especially Google Glass, have not proved popular as yet: but as we await Apple Watch and other developments yet to come, it is quite possible that (as with tablets pre-iPad) the technology needs to find its applications. Rather like the Segway, originally touted as personal transport but now a niche product used by businesses, it is quite possible that 360 degree live video will achieve popularity among, say, estate agents, surveyors, geologists and who knows which other mobile professionals.

As with all these developments, when it’s relevant to your business – Hannon Digital in London will keep you up to date.