Last week, Facebook’s vice president of partnerships, Dan Rose, spoke at AllThingsD’s Dive Into Media conference and shed some light on the social network’s goals for 2013. In case you missed it, here are some things you need to know:
How should the media view Facebook?
During his interview with Mike Isaac, Rose stated that Facebook’s two core pillars lie within identity and sharing. He pointed out that media companies play a large role in defining a social identity because this identity is tied to the things we share on Facebook (outside of likes and statuses). These include the music we listen to, interesting articles we share, great books we read, movies we watch, etc. It is through these two pillars that Facebook is able to focus on their mission to make the world more open and connected.
“Focus on great content”
Rose explained how important it is for Facebook to find the right balance between user experience and creating value for developers. Thanks to algorithms that take into account the things users like, share, click on, etc., Facebook is able to provide great user experiences that mold to the users’ interests.
What advice did Rose have for developers to ensure their content doesn’t go unnoticed or prompt users? “Create great content.” He went on to explain how great content “deserves to be honored,” and one way Facebook has addressed that is through increasing the size of photos featured from news sites and media partners, which I believe is a win-win for users and media partners as well.
In a world where information is quickly digested and regurgitated by people constantly scrolling through news feeds, brands have such little time and space to get their content to stand out. By featuring larger photos, brands increase engagement with their content, while contributing to a better Facebook user experience.
Looking forward: movies, books, & fitness
When asked what the next big thing for Facebook will be, Rose took listeners on a brief walk down Memory Lane reminiscing about the years when social gaming was big (remember Farmville?), the development of the ‘like’ button, and most recently social music (thank you, Spotify & Pandora).
Such watershed developments have transformed Facebook from a social networking site whose objective was initially to build connections among college students into our number-one resource for recommendations.
So what’s next for the social media giant? “2013, we think, is going to be the year of movies, books, fitness – those are categories we’re really excited about,” Rose revealed. This is definitely something to keep an eye out for, considering President Obama recently signed the Video Privacy Protection Act, allowing Netflix users to share their activity on Facebook.
With Facebook’s constant enhancements to the News Feed, Timeline, and now Search Graph, there is no doubt that Facebook will continue to be the top resource for media and recreational recommendations. Rose himself admitted it was because of his friends’ activity on Facebook that he began watching Downton Abbey.
Going from ‘mobile first’ to ‘mobile best’
One last highlight to take away from Rose’s interview is his prediction that 2013 will be the year Facebook will be ‘mobile best.’ This year, Facebook will be transitioning away from being ‘mobile first’ to becoming ‘mobile best’ by focusing on creating mobile experiences that cannot be recreated on desktop.
Rose shared this very interesting statistic: out of the billions of Facebook users, 680 million users use Facebook on their mobile device every month. Not only that, but of those 680 million users, 70% come back via mobile. With Facebook launching Search Graph, Nearby, Mobile App Install Ads, and much more, it’ll be interesting to watch Facebook transform to ‘mobile best.’
What this means for advertisers
Since Facebook will be focusing a lot of time and resources enhancing the mobile user experience, it is extremely important for advertisers to optimize campaigns for mobile devices. Here are some advertising options to consider using:
Nearby – Nearby allows users to utilize local search capabilities by searching for businesses nearby that your friends have checked into, liked, rated, and other criteria. Running promotional ads for those who like and check in to a business’ location can be a powerful strategy. Nearby also holds plenty of potential for local ads one day.
Promoted Posts – News Feed is where all the action happens. There is no better way to reach your target audience than through the main hub. Promoted Posts increase the chances your fans AND their friends will see the content you choose to share. Not only that, but any engagement with your promoted post (like, comment, or share) will also increase its visibility towards fans and friends of fans.
Late last year, Facebook created a separate feed for fan pages called Pages Feed, which makes it less likely for businesses’ content to appear within the News Feed. This forces brands to pay to be seen within the News Feed. At the moment, Pages Feed hasn’t made its way to Facebook mobile, so until then it’s in advertisers’ best interest to continue using Sponsored Stories (a classic Facebook mobile advertising option that allows people to discover your business through their friends at no extra cost) until the Pages Feed makes its way to Facebook’s mobile app.
Mobile App Install Ads – Rose mentioned that Facebook helps people learn what apps are used on the platform, Instagram being a great example. When people push their Instagram posts to their Facebook profiles, users can see that the post was made via Instagram. The same goes for other well-known apps, such as Yelp.
The Mobile App Install Ads option is specifically designed for developers whose target audience is mobile users. For developers who’d like to advertise their apps more directly, utilizing this option can be extremely beneficial in that clicking on the ad will take users directly to the Apple App Store or Android’s Google Play to download the app immediately.
Facebook’s goals for 2013 should help advertisers shape their own goals for the year. By understanding what Facebook has in store in the coming months, advertisers become more nimble, and can react more quickly to any changes to the Facebook advertising landscape.
– Audrey Cueto