WhatsApp Launches “Status”, A Snapchat Clone

Facebook Copies Snapchat Yet Again…

Facebook owns WhatsApp, the popular messaging app that has 1.2 Billion monthly users around the world who send over 60 Billion messages every day. Crazy numbers. Anyway, WhatsApp just launched “Status“, which is a blatant Snapchat clone.

WhatsApp embedded their new Status feature as a tab in their app. Users can now share decorated photos, videos, or GIFs that disappear after 24 hours. This is obviously another stab at Snapchat, showing that Facebook wants to do everything it can to stave off Snap’s growth.

What Does This Mean For You?

Regardless of your thoughts on Facebook’s copycat strategy, this potentially opens up a new social advertising opportunity for marketers. We believe that companies will soon be able to run ads in between “Statuses” just as we can now run Snap Ads in between Snapchat Stories. Instagram Stories ads will be coming very soon as well. So, stay on top of it. New advertising platforms always provide the best arbitrage opportunities for greater ROI on ad spend.

whatsapp status - snapchat clone

Snap Ads – The Complete Guide

The Complete Guide to Snap Ads

This is a concise, but complete, guide to the ins and out of Snap Ads. We share minimum ad spend numbers, fees, targeting, etc. If you have any questions, contact us.

Last updated: February 20, 2017.

snap ads management

Snap Ads Details:

  • Minimum Ad Spend – $10,000/month (month to month contract) [Note: Options available for budgets under $10k]
  • Snap Ads Management Fee – 20% of total ad spend (lower if spend is $30k+)
  • Countries Available – United States, UK, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Spain, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Italy, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Saudi Arabia, UAE, & Turkey
  • Targeting Options – Location, Gender, Age, Interests (See full list of current interest targeting options below)
  • Ad Reporting Metrics – Impressions, click rate, swipe-up rate, video views (reporting views to 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100%)
  • Tracking Options – Vanity URLs, UTM tags, mobile-friendly landing page
  • Destination Options – Video views, App installs (swipe-up leads to app install page), Web views (swipe-up leads to landing page of your choice)
  • Ad Creative Options – Video only for now (click here for video specs)

Are you interested in starting a campaign on Snapchat? Then you’ve come to the right place. We’re your team from creative and strategy, to execution and management. Click the the link below and let’s get you started on making more money. It’s a snap!

Snap Ad interest targeting options:

“Activities/Sports”
Adventure Sports, Fitness, Snow Sports, Running, Sports, Motor Sports, Football, Baseball, Basketball, Golf, College Football, Hockey, Combat Sports, Soccer, Tennis, Beach & Watersports, Skates/Bikes/Boards
“Lifestyles/Hobbies”
Arts & Culture, Beauty, Reading, Fashion & Style, Autos & Vehicles, Nightlife, Investing & Entrepreneurship, Food, Technology & Gadgets, Travel, Women’s Lifestyle, Math & Science, Home Decor, Men’s Lifestyle, Outdoors & Nature, College Life, Streaming Video, DIY, Hip Trends, Pets & Animals, Fast Food Junkies, Cooking, Parenting & Family, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Green Living, Photography
“Music”
Music, Country Music, Concerts & Festivals, Indie Music, Dance & EDM Music, Pop Music, Urban & Hip-Hop Music
“News/Entertainment”
Film & TV, Comedy, Reality TV, News, Business News, Celebrity News, Political News, Video Games, Console Games

Check out two Snap Ads case studies below!

snap ads case studies

Two New Unique Snap Ad Campaigns

Jack in the Box and Chick-Fil-A Step Up Their Snap Ad Chops

In yet another reminder of what you can do when it comes to social advertising, Jack in the Box and Chick-Fil-A launched truly unique Snap Ad campaigns this week.

Chick-Fil-A launched a VR ad that allowed you to play with glasses that were mounted to a cow. How amazing and hilarious.

Jack in the Box came up with a fun multiple choice interactive game for their Snapchat advertising campaign, and once you finished the game you won a coupon that you could show to a cashier for a discount.

THIS is how you do effective marketing  :).

First, Chick-Fil-A…

chick-fil-a snap ad

Chick-Fil-A Snapchat ad

And now Jack in the Box…

jack in the box snap ad

Jack in the Box Snap Ad

Snapchat Shows – How Snapchat Discover is Transforming Social Media

Snapchat Shows Are Game-Changing and The Future is Premium Mobile Video

Snapchat’s Discover section is unique. For the unfamiliar, Discover is made up of daily content produced by professional publishers (think CNN, ESPN, NatGeo, People, New York Times, etc.), exclusive to Snapchat. The content, just likes Snaps themselves, is only available for 24 hours. But Snap, Inc. has a bigger vision for Discover: Snapchat Shows.

Before we dive in to Snapchat Shows, think about the video content you consume on mobile. Twitter is full of GIFs, Instagram is full of memes, Facebook is full of “viral” or political content, YouTube is full of garbage. Yes, you can find great video content on all of these platforms. But Snapchat is aiming to be the premiere hub for mobile video, and their approach is truly a unique one.

planet earth 2 snapchat show

Discover itself has daily editions of interesting content. But “Shows” is what can truly set Snapchat apart.

As of now, there are six Shows on Snapchat:

  • The Bachelor: Watch Party – A weekly show on Tuesdays that recaps The Bachelor episode from the previous night – by ABC
  • The Rundown from E!
  • Game Day – A weekly show on Saturdays during college football season – by ESPN
  • The Voice – Additional, exclusive content from the network hit – by NBC
  • The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon – Additional, exclusive content from the late night show – by NBC
  • Saturday Night Live – Additional, exclusive content from the comedy sketch show – by NBC

Snap also just announced a deal with Discovery Communications to develop shows for the platform under the Shark Week and Mythbusters properties.

And, as of this writing, tomorrow the biggest show of them all premieres: BBC’s Planet Earth II. Planet Earth will also be sponsored by Goldman Sachs, who will be running Snap Ads throughout the episodes.

planet earth snapcode

Get a sneak peek of Planet Earth II on Snapchat by pointing your Snapchat camera at this QR SnapCode

If Snap can continue to build out original content through partnerships, the platform can continue to evolve and be a go-to destination for premium mobile video. Snap has some inherent advantages that will allow them to pursue this venture: being headquartered near Hollywood and the “cool” factor. Snap seems to zig when other social platforms of the past have zagged. It will be interesting to see how this unfolds over time. But here at Wallaroo, we believe in Snapchat.

How and Why Your Small Business Should be Using Snapchat in 2017

 

Last updated: February 16, 2017. Five minute read.

Small businesses have avoided Snapchat for a variety of reasons and we get that, but it’s time to set that all aside and join the advertising revolution. Snapchat just launched an update with massive implications for advertising and if you haven’t figured out your brand on Snapchat, it’s time. We’ll talk about what Snapchat is and isn’t, why you should be using it, and 6 ways to effectively establish and position your brand. Snapchat is quickly becoming the best way to connect to the millennial demographic.

If you already know you want to start a Snap Ads campaign, contact us today and let’s start snapping!

snapchat user base

 

Why your small business should be using Snapchat right now

Have you ever wondered how some people (and brands) became famous on Instagram or YouTube? Many gained fame simply from being early adopters of the platform. Early adoption can save advertising costs and position your business as a thought leader (or industry leader) in the space. But you’ll have to hurry, opportunity to be among the first of your competitors there will disappear fast.

Snapchat is inherently different, of course, than platforms like YouTube and Facebook as driving organic traffic is not as simple as dropping a link in a post. Though Snap ads have the ability to swipe to visit a web page, organic Snapchat is more a game of branding, storytelling and engaging an audience than grabbing a quick sale. Don’t be afraid of the ROI in Snapchat investment though, check out these statistics for comfort.

snapchat daily usage statistics

Source: https://www.snapchat.com/ads

Here’s the bottom line:

If you market a product or service to millennials, don’t have a massive marketing budget, and want to position your brand to succeed long term, you should give Snapchat some serious thought because it’s not just a social media platform–it’s a growing media company.

Several patents filed that confirm Snapchat’s intent to develop its own eCommerce platform. Snapchat’s API is opening up to advertisers and they’ve entered the world of consumer products with their Spectacles product. If you consider the example of Facebook, what started as a social media platform has become a media giant; you can start to see the trajectory Snapchat may be on and fortune has long favored those who get in at the ground level.

 

How you can build your small business’s brand on Snapchat

Numerous articles have been written on the basics of using Snapchat. If you don’t know how it works and don’t have a trendy millennial at your company to help you, check out this article for Snapchat basics and this one for some fun tips. If you have more questions, you can always give us a call as well.

 

You need to create a solid foundation

It’s not by mistake that Snapchat calls them stories; for businesses, the platform is all about telling a compelling story about your brand. What makes your brand unique? How can you provide value to your followers? Gone are the days of consumers accepting intrusions into their lives. Successful businesses now engage their followers and Snapchat gives companies the unique opportunity to help their consumers pull back the curtains and get a peek at the people and voice behind the brand.

 

How to make your Snaps not suck

Let’s talk about a couple overarching ideas first:

The focus on this platform is telling a story. Some advertising brains will hold onto the direct sales model, but Snapchat embraces a different ideal: Engage an audience and make them want to purchase–not tell them they need to. Though a little off of the mainstream advertising concept, brands have been increasingly successful with this storytelling model over the past year.

When we talk about developing your brand on Snapchat, we’re talking about the tone and style of your Snaps. The best way to figure this out is to experiment with some of the different ideas we’ll talk about below. Then, let your audience decide what it likes by tracking your completion rate (just wait, we’re getting there), and when you find a tone and style that your audience engages with, stick with that.

 

These two metrics are the most important (and really the only ones for your account)

Views and completion rate. These are the only two metrics you can track for your company’s organic Snapchat efforts. One way of tracking effectiveness is checking your completion rate–the number of people who begin viewing your story vs. the number of people who watch it through to completion.

Here’s how:

snapchat completion rate

 

At Wallaroo Media, we’ve jumped on the Snapchat express as early as possible and have helped dozens of brands begin to build their following and establish their share of the Snap-sphere. Below are 6 things we’ve done to help companies become successful on the rapidly growing platform:

1) USE SNAPCODES ANYWHERE AND EVERYWHERE

Snapchat lacks the robust search functions inherent in other social platforms. This means that you may have to get a tad creative to get your audience to find and connect with you. Snapcodes’s are Snapchat’s easiest function for adding new people to their Snap address books. This is a code, unique to Snapchat, that functions as a QR code for the platform that, when snapped, automatically adds the account to the user’s list. We have companies establish the Snapcode as their temporary profile picture on other social media platforms and even print out physical copies of the code to take to trade shows and storefronts to get customers snapping it and joining their Snap community.

Snapchat’s most recent update even allows you to create a unique Snapcode for any URL. This means people can go to your website/blog/whatever without having to leave the app! Leveraging Snapcodes is a great way to promote your account and begin building your following.

 

2) USING CUSTOM GEOFILTERS

Custom Geofilters are a great way to use Snapchat to promote your brand. With a little design ability and some forward-thinking, you can design a filter and have it live for some length of time inside of a Geofence so that when Snapchat users snap photos to each other, your brand or business’s filter can be used as a frame for their photos–unique to their location. Check out our Snaphacking article for a step-by-step guide, but here’s a quick comparison for the cost of a custom geofilter around our office in Provo, UT and VaynerMedia’s office in NYC.
If you’re interested in having us design and launch filters, we’d love to help! Check out That’s a Snap! (one of subsidiary companies) who have become so good, they were even featured in the USA Today.

 

3) TAKEOVERS | INFLUENCERS | SNAPCHAT ARTISTS

Influencers are individuals who have built up a following around a specific niche. Simply spend some time searching to find a Snapchat influencer who has a following in your brand’s niche audience, and then reach out! See what they can do to expose their audience to your organization.

But remember, most influencers run their accounts as part of their living. This means that you should expect to discuss a budget with them and compensate them for their time. This cost is variable and depends on the size of the influencer’s following and the number and type of mentions you’d like on their accounts.

Check out Mplatco and Shonduras for a taste of what great influencers can create!

 

4) GIVEAWAYS & SCAVENGER HUNTS

The visual nature of Snapchat (as well as the disappearing messages format) gives a lot of opportunity for businesses to get a little inventive. We have run more than on giveaway and scavenger hunt through Snapchat that have led to great results. Check out this one by Delta Airlines. Millennials are an audience of adventurers, so feel free to tap into that side of them with a little creative adventure of your own.

 

5) SHOOT WEEKLY CONTENT “EPISODES”

Picture these as something like really short television shows. Find something that connects with your audience and plan some video content around it each week. Standardize your day and time so viewers know when to “tune in” to catch the next episode of your content. This can be a great way to tell an elongated story or narrative, or even create a fun video series or how-to sessions.  Fuse TV does a great job of this, even using custom graphics with built-in advertising that they upload to the beginning and end of their segments.

 

6) SNAPCHAT SPECTACLES

These sunglasses represent Snapchat’s jump into the retail camera world as the company’s first consumer product. They were released specifically for Snapchat, shoot 110-degree circular video so your community can watch your stories vertically or horizontally and can post directly to your Snap account. Right now the only way to get a pair is from a SnapBot or eBay, but once secured, they can open up your organization’s Snap game. Check out the creative storytelling of Sam Sheffer and Chris Monachino using Spectacles.

 

Snapchat can be intimidating if you’re not familiar with the platform. We hope this piece has opened your eyes to the possibilities on how you can promote your brand with Snapchat! And, if you need a little help or want to get into the world of paid Snapchat advertising for even greater reach, contact us today for a free consultation!

snap ads management

Facebook Algorithm Change History

Facebook
Algorithm Changes

Facebook’s News Feed algorithm is in a constant state of flux. In the below timeline, we mark the major changes both marketers and businesses need to be aware of. With Facebook’s 1.71 billion monthly active users, it continues to be critical for businesses to have a presence on the platform.

If your company needs help staying up to date with the newest Facebook trends or maximizing its reach on the network, give us a call and we can schedule a no-cost consultation!

Last Updated: February 16, 2017

February
2017

News Feed Videos Will Play with Sound On by Default

Facebook video with sound

After running a series of tests, Facebook discovered that many users responded positively to having videos play with sound automatically within the News Feed. This features will only occur if your phone has its sound on. If your phone is set to “Silent” or “Vibrate,” then you will still need to manually activate the sound on the video. Other changes that come with this update include vertical videos automatically expanding to full screen, as well as having a video continue playing down in the bottom of the screen while the user continues to scroll through the News Feed.

January
2017

Video Prioritized in News Feed Based on Completion Rate

Facebook Video Completion

In an effort to improve the prioritization of video in the News Feed, Facebook will now be analyzing the “percent completion” rate for every video the user watches. If the user watches all or most of a video, then Facebook will prioritize similar videos in the user’s future News Feed. This is a benefit for Pages that produce longer videos that captivate their audience. A longer, more engaging video may see a boost in News Feed prioritization if the user watches most of that video. Videos, both long and short, that do not have high completion rates will likely see a dip in distribution and prioritization.

January
2017

Facebook Adds “Stories” to News Feed

Snapchat has changed how people share their lives on social media. Instagram has already cloned Snapchat’s story feature, and now its parent company, Facebook, is looking to do the same. Facebook Stories will now launch in Ireland on iOS and Android and looks to hit other international markets in the coming months. The “Stories” feature allows users to share photos and video that disappear from the News Feed 24 hours later.

December
2016

Share “Moments” at Top of News Feed

Shareable moments and cards on Facebook

Facebook will begin placing messages at the top of the News Feed to encourage user engagement, such as sharing a holiday-themed card with friends and followers. This update has already been seen in the past but will become more prevalent in the future. These messages and cards may promote a holiday, a historical or cultural event, or even the change of seasons. Time will tell if this new feature will become a marketing tool for brands and advertisers, but as of now, advertisers cannot sponsor these messages.

December
2016

Facebook Adds Color Backgrounds to Text-Only Posts

Facebook Colored Background

Facebook announced that it will roll out a new update that will allow some mobile users to add a colored background to their text-only status updates and posts. The update is only available for use on Android devices; however, all mobile users (including iOS users) will be able to see the colored backgrounds when they are posted. With this update, many text-only posts will be as eye-catching as photos.

November
2016

Facebook Bans Fake News Sites from Using Ads

facebook-logo

Following Google’s lead, Facebook announced that fake news sites will now be banned from using the platform’s Audience Network ads. Facebook recently came under fire with users perpetuating fake news stories regarding this year’s presidential candidates, so this update is a step towards diminishing these fake news publishers’ ability to advertise their posts. While this will not completely eliminate fake stories from the News Feed, it does mean users will see fewer ads promoting stories from fake news sites.

October
2016

News Feed Improves with Slow Connections

Facebook instant articles

In Facebook’s ongoing effort to reach that “next billion users,” News Feed will now display pre-cached stories as well as new stories straight from Facebook’s servers for users with slow network connections. This update will not only help improve the user’s experience in areas where network connection may be sparse, but it will also incentivize users who live in such areas to sign up for, and more regularly use, Facebook.

August
2016

News Feed to Predict & Highlight Informative Posts

Facebook Engage thumbs up

This latest update is a small change to the algorithm after Facebook surveyed many users. Based on this survey, Facebook will now predict which posts a user may find “informative” and prioritize said posts in the user’s News Feed. “Informative” could relate to a variety of posts based on the user’s likes and engagement with other posts, in addition to the results found in this recent survey. For one user, this could mean more posts that are news-related or that feature recipes. For others, it could be news about a favorite celebrity or a movie review. Facebook does not anticipate much change in post distribution from Pages, though some could see slight increases or decreases in referral traffic.

August
2016

News Feed to Show Fewer Clickbait Headlines

scam2

Facebook receives thousands of complaints everyday regarding “clickbait” links and headlines. Previous changes in the News Feed algorithm have attempted to reduce the number of clickbait posts that appear on users’ News Feeds. This newest update allows Facebook to recognize and classify clickbait-like headlines, much like a spam filter in email. This system update will also help Facebook identify Pages and accounts that regularly post clickbait links and headlines, reducing their rankings in the News Feed.

June
2016

Algorithm Prioritizes Friends, Family, & Other Core Values

Facebook instant articles

The secret behind Facebook’s News Feed algorithm has been guessed at for years, with published algorithm updates that help support the various theories out there. However, Facebook recently opened the curtain on the “core values” it uses when determining what shows up in a user’s feed. Facebook became known as the social platform to connect friends and family, which is why most of the News Feed is filled with posts from those users care about most. Now, Facebook states that posts from friends and family will get top priority on users’ News Feeds. After posts from friends and family, Facebook prioritizes posts that “inform” and posts that “entertain.” Other core values include posts that represent all ideas and posts with “authentic communication.” Facebook also emphasized the user’s ability to hide posts, unfollow other users and Pages, and the user’s ability to prioritize their own feed with the “See First” function. Lastly, Facebook reiterated the goal to always improve the News Feed and user experience.

April
2016

Facebook to Fight Clickbait Links

facebook-logo

Facebook has been known to be filled with clickbait links to articles and websites, but thanks to Facebook’s intent to improve the type of content being shared on its platform, this may slowly come to an end. There are sites out there who only care about clicks on their links, even if it the user leaves the page immediately after clicking the link. Now, Facebook will measure how much time you spend on a shared link, whether it’s an Instant Article or on another site. This should begin to filter out clickbait links that don’t actually provide useful content. In addition, Facebook is also looking to penalize Pages that post too often. This will be useful for marketers when creating their Facebook posting strategies.

April
2016

News Feed to Highlight Links You’re Actually Interested In

Facebook instant articles

Yet another update to the News Feed that’ll change the prioritization of what you see at
the top of your News Feed. Interacting with a post (liking, commenting, or sharing) is a good indicator for what users are interested in; however, it is not the only way of gauging interest. Users are less likely to interact with a sad news-related post or a serious current event, but that does not mean they do not want these stories in their News Feeds. Facebook will now measure the potential interest in a post based on the following criteria: user interest in the creator, post performance among other users, past content performance of the creator, type of post the user prefers, and how recent the post is. When you click on a post or link, Facebook will measure how much time you spend on post, even if you don’t like, comment, or share. This will help Facebook in its algorithm when predicting and prioritizing which posts you are most interested in.

March
2016

Facebook Prioritizes Live Videos In News Feed

expanded criteria for movies in Facebook

Facebook has been paying attention to how much longer users watch live streaming videos in their News Feeds, and it turns out live videos are viewed 3x longer than a previously recorded and uploaded video. Based on this information, Facebook will begin prioritizing live video in users’ News Feeds. Facebook previously prioritized stories that it deemed “best,” not necessarily the most current. This live video update changes that. This update helps Facebook keep up with Twitter’s real-time posts, including Periscope videos.

February
2016

High Ranking Posts and Engagement Probability

Facebook Engage thumbs up

This update proves that Facebook is continually listening to its users and attempting to improve the user experience by prioritizing and improving News Feed. With this latest update, Facebook will gauge the likelihood that users will highly rate a post or the probability that users will interact with a post by liking, commenting, or sharing. These posts will then be placed at the top of the user’s News Feed. These two criteria were discovered after Facebook conducted an extensive survey in which users indicated what they prefer to see at the top of their News Feeds. The update should have little impact on Pages; however, some Pages may notice a slight increase in referral traffic while other Pages may experience a decrease in referral traffic. How this update affects the majority of Pages in the long run will be better measured over time.

January
2016

Organic Audience Optimization

audience optimization for engagement on Facebook

Historically, publishers on Facebook struggled to organically reach their target audience, mostly due to Facebook’s algorithm. Known as the Audience Optimization tool, this new update allows publishers to set preferences to target a specific audience based on interests, demographics, and geographic location. Using this new tool, publishers and marketers on Facebook can organically reach their intended audience and then see how well their posts perform.

October
2015

Real-Time News Search Expanded

real time search in Facebook

In an effort to rival Google and Twitter with trending news stories, you can now search any news story through Facebook and access a variety of search results, including posts from other users not on your Friends lists and Pages that you haven’t liked. The search results will pull information from Facebook’s 2 trillion posts. This update will likely encourage users to post more frequently about human and world events, much like on Twitter.

October
2015

Facebook Improves News Feed for Slower Connections

Facebook improved for slower connections

In many parts of the world, mobile users still use a 2G connection for their internet use. In the attempt to reach millions more users worldwide, Facebook is improving the News Feed load time for mobile users with a slower connection. If your connection is extremely weak, Facebook will bring up your previously loaded News Feed or cached stories. With a limited connection, Facebook will now focus on stories and posts you’re actively looking at, as opposed to simultaneously loading multiple stories all at once. Lastly, Facebook will avoid showing content that is too much for your connection to handle, which includes video playback among other types of interactive or media-heavy content. For now, this update only applies to those on mobile devices.

October
2015

How “See First” Affects Pages

Facebook Video Changes

When Facebook updated its News Feed Preferences with See First, they claimed the update would have little impact on marketers, which may not be entirely true. If Pages can somehow be selected in a user’s See First preferences, then there’s enormous potential for increased sales, site traffic and activity, and brand awareness. However, for mid-level Pages who employ paid ad campaigns in the quest for more Likes, there may be some damage. The value of a Like for Pages may be diminishing, especially if those Pages are not frequently prioritized in users’ See First. Marketers will most likely need to revamp their strategies in order to make it into more users’ See First preferences.

June
2015

Facebook Updates User Preferences on See First

Facebook for business page

Facebook is keenly aware that their News Feed algorithm isn’t perfect. In an attempt to give users more control over who appears atop their News Feeds, Facebook has updated its settings, allowing the user to select who they’d prefer to “See First.” This new setting, found under News Feed Preferences, is broken up into four sections: Prioritize Who to See First, Unfollow People to Hide Their Posts, Reconnect with People You Unfollowed, and Discover New Pages. These new sections allow the user to easily select who should and should not get priority in their News Feed.

June
2015

Expanded Criteria for Video Rankings

expanded criteria for movies in Facebook

Over the next few weeks, Facebook will roll out this new update that will account for videos being viewed with audio or in full-screen mode. After a recent survey, Facebook learned that many users will find a video of interest without liking, commenting, or sharing with their friends. Therefore, Facebook will monitor other forms of video engagement, such as turning on the audio or switching to full-screen. There is no indication that Pages will “see significant changes in distribution as a result of this update.” Also, this update does not mean that users will see more videos in their News Feed, only those who already engage more with video-related content.

June
2015

Prioritize News Feed with See First

prioritize see first in Facebook news feeds

Facebook is continually working to improve its News Feed, allowing the user more control over the types of posts that appear at the top. Until now, Facebook has only granted options for users to filter out posts they do not want to see. With the introduction of See First, users can now choose which accounts, whether friends or followed Pages, they wish to see first at the top of their News Feeds. Once on the account’s page, the user can select “See First” under the Following button. The account that you follow will not be notified if the user has selected them for See First. This update is yet another example of Facebook listening to its users and their desires to have more control over the types of posts they see.

June
2015

Buy Button for Shopify Merchants

buy button for shopify merchants in Facebook

Facebook announced that it will be attaching a Buy Button to merchants who utilize Shopify’s ecommerce platform. This means that users will be able to purchase an item directly from the Facebook News Feed without having to open a different app or webpage. Those who run their ecommerce through Shopify will have the option of sharing their merchandise organically through their Facebook Pages or through a paid ad campaign. The inclusion of a Buy Button should entice Shopify merchants with a quick and simple way for their customers to buy a product within Facebook. Users can pay using the same payment method already filed with Facebook or they can enter their payment information during checkout. The Buy Button now places Facebook in competition with Pinterest and Google who are already offering similar features for their pins and ads, respectively.

June
2015

Time Spent on Story

time spent on a Facebook story

Historically, Facebook has formatted users’ News Feeds based on the likes, comments, and shares of others. However, Facebook recently learned through a study that many users would like to see current news stories that may not necessarily receive likes, comments, or shares from the users’ friends. Now, Facebook will also be monitoring how much time is spent viewing certain stories. Though time spent on a story can have various factors (internet speed, length of post, etc.), Facebook will gauge how much time you spend on story compared to other stories you view within your News Feed. If you spend more time on a particular story or post, then Facebook will likely show this story on your friends’ News Feeds.

June
2015

Support for GIFs

Facebook support for GIFs

Facebook has officially confirmed that the News Feed will now support GIFs. Originally, Facebook made a strong effort to avoid GIF support as they felt it would clutter the News Feed page. Now, users can paste a GIF link from external sites (Giphy, Imgur, Tumblr, and others) in their post, and Facebook will animate the GIF once the post has been published in the News Feed. GIFs will automatically play in the News Feed according to your current video playback settings. Though this announcement was made near the end of May, the update will not be immediately available to all users and Pages. Instead, the update is still slowly rolling out throughout June.

May
2015

Instant Articles

Facebook instant articles

Beginning in May, iPhone users will see a new feature from Facebook: Instant Articles. Popular publishers like BuzzFeed, New York Times, National Geographic, and others will have their articles visible and mobile-friendly within the Facebook app. This means that users will no longer have to follow a link to these articles while waiting for the site to load. Instant Articles will be instantly accessed once the user clicks the post. The article will be completely coded and formatted for mobile devices. Publishers will also have the ability to create their own cover for their articles that will appear in News Feeds. Facebook will not favor Instant Article publishers over other posts and articles; however, these articles are more likely to get shares and interaction due to their easy access and mobile compatibility.

May
2015

Search and Add Shareable Links in Your Posts

Facebook Video Changes

Facebook is now implementing a new function that allows users to quickly and easily share links in their posts and status updates, particularly on mobile devices. This new addition is currently only available for a small number of users, but it is expected to roll out for all users very soon. Instead of copying and pasting a link, users can now select the “Add Link” button and then search keywords to find the article or post they wish to share. Results are listed based on popularity of the article or post on Facebook, which incorporates data not used by Google in their search results. Facebook is now a major influence in referral traffic, so it only makes sense that the social media juggernaut would simplify its link sharing process.

April
2015

News Feed Prioritizes Friends

Facebook Video Changes

In 2015, Facebook has made an effort to listen to its users who prefer seeing their friends’ posts over Pages or promotional posts. In January, Facebook began cracking down on Pages who publish “click-bait” posts or posts with the sole intent of selling a product. Now, Facebook is focusing on giving priority to the posts from the friends you care about the most. Simply put, users will now see more posts from close friends in their News Feed than posts made from the Pages they follow.
There are some who believe Facebook is making these changes to encourage businesses to use paid ads on Facebook as opposed to just the free Pages accounts. However, Facebook users have been vocal about their disdain for the priority given to posts from Pages. Facebook understands that if its users are dissatisfied, then it is unlikely there will be any users in the future. In order to retain users and continue to grow, this change was inevitable.

January
2015

Fewer Hoaxes

Facebook Video Changes

Facebook has now implemented a strong effort to reduce the number of hoax links that appear in your News Feed. This includes posts you make yourself or links you share that appear to be a scam. When you see a questionable post you now have the option to report that post or link as “a false news story.” Once a post has been reported by many users as being “false,” then its distribution will be significantly reduced. Facebook will not attempt to delete false posts or evaluate the veracity of their content; however, a frequently false-reported post will come with an annotation at the top indicating that many users have reported that the post is false.
This update should not affect most publishers on Facebook. If you tend to publish or share satirical articles, most users will not report such posts as “false news.” However, those accounts that frequently use hoax or scam posts to increase their traffic will see a strong decrease in their post distribution.

January
2015

Promotional Posts

Facebook Video Changes

Facebook recently surveyed 500,000 users and discovered that the vast majority of those users wished to see more posts from friends and family as opposed to promotional posts, even if they originate from a Page the user likes. As of January, Facebook will begin cracking down on Pages who publish posts that push followers to either buy a product or download an app, enter a contest or sweepstakes with no context, or publish posts that use the same wording as published ads. Facebook said the following about the change, “While Pages that post a lot of the content we mention above will see a significant decrease in distribution, the majority of Pages will not be impacted by this change.”
Facebook remained fairly vague about which kind of Pages this will affect the most, but marketers would be wise to reevaluate their posting strategy so that they will not be punished by Facebook with a significant fall in organic distribution. The good news is that this change does not affect paid ads.

December
2014

App Ad Feed

Facebook Video Changes

Facebook introduces a new search function specifically for finding the apps you want. In the mobile navigation menu there is now a “Find Apps” bookmark that presents a special feed of paid app advertisements. App stores, such as Apple and Google, have failed to provide a feed of apps that is catered to the interests of the user. Facebook’s new App Ad Feed displays ads that are targeted towards Facebook users based on their habits, likes, and activity. App discovery in most app stores is extremely flawed. With Facebook’s new App Ad Feed you can now search through apps that have been selected with you in mind.

December
2014

Keyword Search

Keyword Search

Facebook implements a keyword search that allows users to search for previous posts using keywords and names of friends. Now users can access old archived posts that were previously shared with them through a simple search. The search results will only display posts and photos that have been shared with you, for example, on your News Feed. Likewise, only posts you’ve shared with friends will be displayed in their searches. You can select your audience with any post you make; if your post is set to be Public then anyone who searches for it can find it. If only your friends can see your posts then only your friends can find your posts with general searches. You can also be found if others have tagged you in their posts and photos. If you wish to remove yourself from another’s post you can edit the post and request to remove your tag or that the post be removed from Facebook altogether.

September
2014

Video Updates

Facebook Video Changes

Facebook announces that view counts will now be posted with their videos. Facebook wants the world to know that YouTube is not the only dominant presence in online videos. The video views on Facebook have been growing over the years, now reaching 1 billion views per day. The recent ALS Ice Bucket Challenge trend has also contributed immensely to Facebook’s video views. Facebook hopes to show digital video advertisers that Facebook is a great place to run video ads. Videos on Facebook come from a variety of sources: users, pages, and public figures.
Facebook also announced that in addition to adding view counts to their videos, recommended videos will now appear once a user has finished watching a video. This will only help increase the amount of video views on Facebook further establishing the social media platform as one of the premiere destinations for online videos.

August
2014

Clickbait Control

click bait

Once again, Facebook listened to complaints from users and created this update that made a substantial effort to eliminate “click-bait” posts as well as help users to see shared links in the best format. “Click baiting” involves posts that feature a headline made to get the user to click on the link. A common headline found on “click baiting” links may sound like “You won’t believe what happens next!” Users have quickly become annoyed by such obvious schemes to increase web traffic. Facebook now analyzes how much time a user spends on a link they click. If the user quickly returns to Facebook after clicking a link, this tells Facebook that the link was not what the user wanted, which is frequently the case with “clickbait” links. The weeding of these links will also be aided by how much a link is liked and shared on Facebook. Liked and shared links are typically not “clickbait” links.
Shared links will now be displayed in the traditional link format, instead of being buried in photo captions or status updates. This link format will also preview the beginning of the article that will better inform users if they want to click the link.

April
2014

Instagram

Instagram-logo

Instagram (owned by Facebook) had its first algorithm update this month. The “Explore” (or “Popular”) tab was tweaked to display photos and videos specifically tailored for each user. Previously the tab only showed the most popular posts across all Instagram users.

August
2013

News Feed Update

algorithm

Facebook announced new changes to the News Feed ranking algorithm. One key change gave posts not seen by users a second chance at being viewed. Another important update gave more weight to each user’s most 50 interactions on the network in determining what they see in their feed.

March
2013

Design

FB-Cover-Template-2014

Facebook changed the design of the News Feed to improve its visual appearance for the purpose of increasing user engagement.

September
2011

Combined News Feed

Scrollable-News-Feed1

Facebook responds to users’ outcries about the 2009 update and instead of separating the two types of News Feeds, both are consolidated into one News Feed. Facebook wanted its users to be able to see exactly what they logged on to see. Facebook themselves stated at the time: “When you visit Facebook, you should see the things you’re most interested in, like status updates from your family and closest friends.” They knew that people didn’t log in all the time, so they adjusted their News Feed accordingly. Using an updated News Feed algorithm, they aimed to show all people the most relevant posts at all times. Users, having somewhat acclimated to the last update, had some difficulty adjusting once again to the new update. The changes were pretty complicated for the average user and only computer-savvy users fully understood the changes. The News Ticker is also introduced on the right side-bar which was meant to display other friends’ activity on Facebook such as likes, comments, and so on.

October
2009

News Feed Prioritizes Popular Posts

Facebook-Engagement

This update marked the largest change to date. Facebook debuted a new type of default sorting order. Previously, it had been a reverse chronological listing of updates/photos. The new order was based on popularity. Popularity was quantified by engagement on each post. The more engaging the post, the higher it appeared in the News Feed. This update did create some backlash from users who preferred the original chronological default and for those not wanting their relationship status updates to be cycled through multiple News Feeds based on the growing popularity of the post.

March
2009

News Feed Filters

edit-news-feed

Facebook introduced filters into their platform. This allowed people to have more control over what they saw. The filters were new and slightly complicated which led to many users neglecting to use them, although gradual adoption of use of the filters took place over the next several months. . This update also included the ability to make fine tunes to your status updates and include multimedia with your posts. You could also makes specific lists of friends that would allow you to only see updates from certain friends.

November
2007

The “Like” Button Is Introduced

facebook_like

The Like Button feature is added. This is the first time that Facebook started experimenting with an algorithm. With the introduction of the “Like” button, users have a simplified way of interacting with others’ posts. Prior to the addition of the “Like” button, users had to comment on a status or post to interact with the other user. Also, with the inclusion of the X out feature, Facebook could evolve according to what you “like” and what you X out. This algorithm made it so your News Feed would eventually highlight posts that Facebook thinks would interest the individual user.

September
2006

News Feed Launch & Status Updates

Facebook-News-Feed

Facebook officially launches News Feed, and with it, status updates. Prior to the News Feed, logging in to Facebook would solely access your profile page which you could update and personalize, but in order to see others’ pages, you had to manually search for those profiles. With the introduction of the News Feed, the homepage was redesigned to show you others’ status updates and uploaded photos. The profile page would also show a mini-feed of updates and became known as “the wall.”

February
2004

Launch

Facebook launches as a directory of individual profile pages that users could update. No News Feed yet.

How Facebook Algorithm Changes Affect Marketers

Along with Facebook’s ever-evolving algorithm changes, the digital marketing opportunities have increased as well. As the News Feed was introduced and updated, advertising increasingly found its way into users’ News Feeds. Now, whenever a user brings up their News Feed, Facebook’s algorithm determines which advertisements are best catered to the user based on their likes, listed interests, and interaction with other pages. This means that in order to fully take advantage of advertising through Facebook, marketers must create their ads with a focused and targeted audience campaign. Marketers will also determine the amount they are willing to spend on their ads which will directly affect the probability that their ad will reach the intended audiences.

Users are now able to dictate which ads they want to see on their News Feed. If a user hides an ad from their feed, they are essentially telling Facebook that that ad does not apply to them. Facebook is more engaged to considering user feedback concerning ads which will ultimately lead to more ads users want to see and less ads that are not applicable. What this means for marketers is that their ads will more likely reach the audience that wants to see those types of ads, which should inevitably lead to more interaction and conversion rates.

What Marketers Need To Know About Advertising Through Facebook In 2014

Advertising through Facebook will continue to evolve just as it always has in the past. What marketers need to know going forward in 2014 is that engaged conversations will get their posts and advertisements shown more regularly in others’ News Feeds. This increases the need for quality content that will make users want to engage in the conversation. Your post has the ability to recycle through News Feeds as users comment and interact causing more and more users and friends of friends to see the post.

Mobile devices are now becoming more popular than ever, especially when it comes to interacting on Facebook. Marketers not only need to worry about producing quality content, but they must make sure that anything they post (including links to articles) must be optimized for mobile devices.

One of the most important things marketers must do is stay up-to-date with every algorithm change. What worked in the past does not necessarily work now, and what works now may not work in the future. Stay current on how social media evolves and be prepared to evolve with it.

Sources

  1. Facebook – How Newsfeed Works
  2. Facebook – Newsfeed FYI
  3. EdgeRank.net