Facebook is constantly growing with over 1.44 billion monthly active users, 1.25 billion of these are on mobile alone. This is equivalent to 20,000 users on Facebook every second. These statistics make Facebook the biggest social network operating today and a valuable website for marketers, whether they are promoting a product or service or conducting market research.
In recent years, Facebook has been improving the experience it provides to its users so they can access a wide variety of content without leaving the site. For instance, Facebook has input a significant amount of time and resource into developing its cross platform mobile app to benefit 581 million Facebook members who access the network through smartphones and tablets. Video content is being accessed on the go as a constant source of entertainment with 75% of Facebook videos occurring on mobile devices with this percentage to increase following the introduction of live video streaming to rival Twitter’s Periscope.
Facebook recently integrated similar algorithm technology used by Google into its platform which helps personalise results by adding current news stories and popular posts to search results and users timelines.
Businesses are now able to communicate directly with its customers privately through Facebook messenger, allowing them to have personal, real time conversations. This shows that Facebook is trying to combat businesses using Twitter direct messages with its customers. Further advancements to the messaging facility include M, a virtual assistant through users can book tickets, buy products and get recommendations without ever leaving the service.
One useful tool Facebook has which is valuable to marketers is user data. The majority of data collected by Facebook has been inaccessible to marketers. Beyond business Facebook pages, brands have little idea of the conversations going on directly related to their brand or product offering. Making this data anonymised will allow Facebook to provide insights to advertisers which will make life easier to marketers.
In the coming years, Facebook will increase the amount of content stored on the platform through services such as Instant Articles and Canvas. Instant articles is Facebook’s attempt of keeping users on the site whilst accessing content such as news stories or blog posts. However, publishers will need to carefully consider the value of publishing their content externally to their website and whether this outweighs the loss of direct and advertising revenue.
[author]About Zachary and Speechless Digital
Zachary Jarvis is the Founder and Managing Director of Speechless Digital, a Digital & Content Marketing Agency based in Essex, UK.[/author]