So Facebook has been going nuts as usual, rolling out changes quicker than most of us can blog about them. So here is a round up of 8 recent changes to Facebook that you probably don’t know about (in no particular order).
1. You Can No Longer Like-Gate Facebook Apps
The days of sending people to a Facebook App and Like-gating (or Fan-gating it as it is also referred to) are gone! Here is the news straight from the horses (or Facebook‘s) mouth:
You must not incentivize people to use social plugins or to like a Page. This includes offering rewards, or gating apps or app content based on whether or not a person has liked a Page. It remains acceptable to incentivize people to login to your app, checkin at a place or enter a promotion on your app’s Page. To ensure quality connections and help businesses reach the people who matter to them, we want people to like Pages because they want to connect and hear from the business, not because of artificial incentives. We believe this update will benefit people and advertisers alike.
Like-gating is often used to show different content to fans and non-fans, with an incentive, such as a competition or giveaway provided in exchange for a Page Like. Once the user Likes the Page, they gain access to that offer. Like-gating functionality within an app will cease to work as of 5 November 2014 for existing apps and will not work for any new apps from this point forward.
Facebook is doing this because they want users to Like businesses because they actually “like” them and want to see their content in their newsfeed, not because they want some other incentive. This change has most likely come about to stamp out the practice of using Like-gating to offer irrelevant offers, such as in iPad competition in exchange for a Like.
This is disappointing news for businesses that run targeted advertising to a targeted Like-gated offer as a method of attracting Page Likes from people that are likely to gain value from Liking their Page.
Whilst you can no longer Like-gate an app to obtain fans (and email addresses) of prospects, you can still use Facebook to send people to your opt-in page to build your email list, either via a Facebook App or directly to your website. If you are desperate for the Like, you can always invite those people to then Like your Page via email, within the Build Audience feature of Facebook or by running a Facebook Ad campaign to your email subscriber list using a Custom Audience targeting ad.
2. You Can Now Save Items From Your Facebook Newsfeed
Facebook recently introduced a save feature for both the web and mobile versions of the platform.
This long-awaited bookmarking feature allows you to save the content you see in your newsfeed for later viewing, either on the web or your mobile device. The content you can save is limited to links, places, music, books, movies and TV shows from newsfeed only. Facebook will periodically notify you that you have Saved items.
3. You Can Now Manager Your Facebook Ad Campaigns From Mobile
I have wanted to ability to be able to manage my Facebook Ad Campaigns on-the-go for ages, so was really excited when I got the notification that this feature was available. You can find the Adverts Manager under the “More” tab on an iOS mobile device.
4. You Can Now Run Facebook Ads At Specific Times Of The Day
This feature is called “dayparting” and is only available via the Facebook Power Editor when you are running a Facebook Ad campaign that has a lifetime budget. Dayparting allows you to show your ads to the right people at the right time by scheduling your ads for specific hours and days of the week. You can select specific hours or a series of hours for whichever days suit. The ads will then be shown at that time in your audience’s time zone.
5. You Can Now Put Call-To-Action Buttons On Your Facebook Ads And Page Posts
OK, this change has been around a little longer, but it is a feature that is not being used enough by many businesses. If ever you want people to take one of the following actions, then there is a button you can use to accomplish this on that can accompany your Facebook Ads and Page Posts.
- Shop Now
- Learn More
- Sign Up
- Book Now
The only hitch is that you have to create it within the Power Editor (even if it is a Page Post that you want to create without any ad spend).
6. Your Facebook Ads In The Right Hand Column Are Now Much Bigger
Facebook sidebar ads are now nearly as big as the content in the News Feed and about three times bigger than what they were previously. Due to their increased size, there are now also less ads appearing in the sidebar, making your sidebar ads potentially stand out even more. So if you haven’t been using sidebar ads due to poor performance, it might be a good time to try them again and compare the results against the ads you are running in the newsfeed to determine their effectiveness for your business.
One thing to note is that the 20% text rule now also applies to sidebar ads, so make sure that any ads you are using in any of your Facebook Advertising doesn’t include anymore than 20% text.
You will continue to see some smaller style ads in your newsfeed until advertisers switch over their image dimensions to the new format. If you haven’t made those adjustments as yet, then do so soon so you don’t miss out on the advantages that your bigger ad images could provide in terms of standing out from those ads that are still using the smaller ad dimensions.
7. You Can Now Run Facebook Ads To People Who Have Visited Your Website
Website Custom Audiences allow you to create Facebook ads that target users who have previously visited your website (within up to the last 180 days) via a tracking pixel that you place either on your website as a whole or on a specific page of your website. This is a great way to put your business in front of those people that are most likely to be interested in what you have to offer, but have not yet given you a way to stay in contact with them (e.g. become an email subscriber or following you on social media).
Website Custom Audience Facebook Ads have been available via the Facebook Power Editor since the beginning on 2014, but they are now also available via Facebook’s Ads Manager dashboard, making it much easier for businesses to start using this feature, without having to learn the ins and outs of Power Editor, which isn’t the easiest of tools to wrap your head around.
8. Facebook Has Tweaked Their Algorithm
Facebook tweaks the algorithm that determines what does and doesn’t show up in a user’s newsfeed on a regular basis. That means that what was working for you one week, may not necessarily work for you the next. As a result you need to keep experimenting to see what works best for your business NOW and be prepared to change your tactics regularly to ensure you continue to achieve social media success.
If you would like learn more about these changes and how you can use these recent changes to your advantage, then sign up for my one-on-one social media coaching package to receive social media training specific to your requirements, implementing the lessons learned as we go.
So let me know in the comments below which of these changes you didn’t know about and feel free to share with me any other changes you have noticed of late that I may not know about.
Please share this post with anyone you feel might not be aware of these recent changes to Facebook.