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Facebook F8 had some exciting news for brands

May 2018

Facebooks F8 conference has come to an end, and we’ve seen the roll out of some big updates across Facebooks whole suite. There was a big overall focus on bringing people together, playing games with your friends, video chat, gaming and even dating!

We also saw conversation around the topic of privacy following a little bit of a bumpy year for Facebook with Zuckerberg acknowledging instances where the company had let the user down and discussing fixes to these.

Facebook wants to make us more connected than ever – it also needs to win us back and you can see clear efforts to do so coming out of F8. However – what does this mean for your brand connecting with your audience? Here are our top three highlights from the event.

Clear History

One of the biggest announcements of the day was Clear History. This gives the user the power to clear their history tracked by Facebook with the click of one button, letting them take back control of their privacy and perhaps regaining trust in Facebook.

The downside for brands? Retargeting will never be the same – once a user uses the Clear History feature – we will not be able to retarget them based on behaviour on our website. Terrible, or so we think?

Perhaps – in the same way that GDPR is an opportunity disguised as a threat (challenging marketeers to create more compelling calls to action than ever – rather than pre ticked boxes), Clear History is going to challenge us to think long term, and focus on customer loyalty built from meaningful conversations and Content You Can’t Ignore. No longer will it be as easy as myopically focussing on sales retargeting and number chasing – but instead we will think about how we can help and engage the customer.

Hello VR!

Oculus has been a major player in terms of bringing VR into the main stream, and during F8 Zuck announced the availability of the Oculus Go – starting at just £199 and being a stand-alone VR headset. With the low entry price, it could be just what VR needs to really arrive.

For anyone who’s owned a VR headset (I’m sure you’ve tried the standard shark cage videos …really scary), what Oculus is doing is giving VR real purpose. With an app store providing games that you can play with your friends, access to movies and live events. If this is the moment that VR really arrives – then it’s time for brands to consider what value they can offer users in this space.

Perhaps we will see more and more virtual stores and show rooms popping up – like the one we created for Mazda with the Oculus Rift. Or perhaps we can bring experiences and truly interactive content to our audiences through virtual worlds, educating and engaging them. Think about your biggest customer pain points? How could an immersive experience like this help?

Messenger and AR

Messenger is going to become a major player in your brand strategy over the coming years – with 80% of adults using a messenger app every day and 53% saying they are more likely to purchase with a brand they’ve messaged. Facebook has already enhanced the platform to become a really powerful tool connecting people to each other, and brands. Messenger can engage with stickers and fun bots, streamline the customer journey with chatbots and even purchasing capabilities.

"To date, there are over 300,000 active bots on Messenger, and over 8 billion messages are exchanged between people and businesses each month; that’s 4x the amount of messages exchanged since just last year.” Facebook Newsroom

With a broadcast message you can expect up to 90% open rate – in an inbox where users are conversing with people they care about the most, which is a great place to be, creating meaningful connections.

The AR and Messenger integration pushes the capabilities of the platform even further, allowing brands to incorporate AR into messages by sending out camera effects with immersive brand experiences. This could solve one of the biggest hurdles of e-commerce -  allowing customers to see your product, on a platform most of them are using. They can see and engage with it like never before… which is pretty exciting.

Summary

Facebook is making user centric changes with the ambition of driving meaningful connection and useful innovation. It should now be our next move to follow in their footsteps and create meaningful micro-moments which add real value to our customer journey. Facebook is giving us an opportunity to create great content in all manner of new creative ways. Get in touch to find out how we could help unlock some of this potential.

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