2018 is set to be a transformative year for the world’s largest social media network, that’s according to Facebook VP, David Marcus. With over 2 billion monthly active users and a global usage penetration rate of 22.9%, Facebook is the world’s largest social media network and the third most-visited website globally.
The platform’s large reach and cheaper advertising options mean that it’s often the preferred space for brands to reach out and connect with their audiences. Unfortunately, due to limited feed space, Facebook has removed brand content from the main newsfeed relegating it a discovery-focussed ‘Explore Feed’.
This renewed focus on ‘meaningful interactions’ will mean organic reach for brands is about to drop off a shelf. Brands willing to boost their branded content via paid advertising won’t be affected, instead their content will appear on the normal newsfeed along with content from user’s family and friends.
Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, expects these changes to cause a decrease in traffic in the short term. He stands firm in his decision however saying:
The most important thing Facebook can do is help us connect with each other Click To Tweet
Facebook’s announcement about the importance of investing in real-time communications to make sure that no matter where you are, you can easily stay connected to your loved ones, has caused shares in the company to fall by as much as 4%.
Chat Bots, Chat Bots Everywhere
In a bid to make the platform more ‘social’, the move toward more ‘meaningful interactions’ is also set to affect Facebook’s Messenger app. Facebook are replacing their out-of-date M Assistant with an AI-powered version that will suggest in-chat communication, similar how to Google Assistant works. This artificial-powered app will help “to further enrich conversations and help people get things done.”
Facebook are using AI and machine learning technology to create the next generation of chat bots.With a renewed focus on social customer service and e-commerce, Facebook are beta testing in-chat purchasing with the help of specially-designed casual agents.
Though still in beta testing, when released, customers will have the option to purchase items directly through a brand’s Facebook page without having to leave the platform. The AI will take queues from the tone of the conversation, promoting in-chat purchasing options like a ‘buy now’ button.
Facebook is partnering with payment processing services, PayPal and Stripe to ensure a secure and speedy checkout process. This integration and the increased focus on UX design will likely disrupt the digital marketing industry and transform social e-commerce as a whole.
BlueChief is a social media and brand management company that specialises in video production, design and advertising. In need of some digital marketing or social media strategy advice? Contact BlueChief CEO, Shane McCarthy at (086) 466 5014 or email email@example.com.