By April 12th, Facebook’s instant articles are to open up to all publishers. Previously only available to big names like BuzzFeed and the New York Times, the major benefit is that by posting articles directly to Facebook, mobile loading times will be faster. Essentially, publishers’ videos should receive an increase in views and click-throughs.
Let’s not forget that it’s not just publishers who will reap rewards. Facebook will undoubtedly secure extra revenue, offering to take care of video advertising in exchange for a cut of the profits. In fact, even better for Facebook is that the more content consumed on their site, the less people click off. Basically, more adverts can be served, which results in even more money. It would seem the social media giant sure is trying to take over the world.
Instant articles aren’t the only update either, with Facebook preparing for a string of changes. For one, it has begun to loosen its strict rules with regards to overly commercial videos. Up until now, Facebook has deleted videos posted by publishers that advertise brands. It was forbidden for advertisers to pay to produce or sponsor videos that appeared as organic content. However, Facebook has relaxed this rule, with select publishers now able to post branded videos with “sponsored by” in the messaging.
The social media stalwart demonstrated this amendment during Superbowl. Launching ‘Sports Stadium’, a place where conversation could take place during the game, Fox Sports posted video clips that stated “presented by GoDaddy”. Additionally, Facebook is now letting premium publishers such as BuzzFeed and PopSugar post native video ads. A benefit for publishers, who rely heavily on gaining revenue through native video content, they’re now able to sell to Facebook’s gigantic audience.
While all of this benefits publishers, there doesn’t seem to be much in it for everyday users. Having considered this, Facebook has announced some changes that will improve our experiences too. With virtual reality (VR), predicted to be huge in the future, Facebook has formed a dedicated team to research and incorporate VR into their network. Whilst any drastic changes are unlikely to happen within the next few years, for now they’re testing 360 degree videos. It seems that we’re enjoying this, with more than one million views generated every day.
Facebook has had to up its game in recent months. Despite six new profiles being created every second, it’s had to compete with the likes of Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. Snapchat in particular, has become very successful with the younger audience – 71% of its 200 million monthly active users are under 25. To stay at the top of the pack, Facebook has to continuously improve, and offer new features that customers want. And right now? Well, that’s exactly what it’s doing.
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