Earlier this week, we heard that Facebook was going to be announcing a new product ... but we didn't think the social network would be dominating the news day after day. Updates on its video advertising plans, Page Insights, and page post link ads dominated the news ... all before Thursday's big press event.
To help us all keep track of these lightning-fast changes, we decided to dedicate our weekly Sunday roundup to Facebook. Here's what you may have missed this week about all things Facebook.
Facebook Launches Video on Instagram, Giving Twitter a Run for Its Money
On Thursday, Facebook took a stab at its Twitter rivals by launching video on Instagram. Now, Instagram users will be able to share 15-second videos via the social network. Users will have quite a few customization options for videos as well, including camera stabilization, custom still video frames, and very basic video editing capabilities. Though there are quite a few cool product features with videos, Instagram continues to be a simple way to "capture and share the world's moments."
The most obvious takeaway from this story is that visual content is becoming even more important in social media -- so you should start incorporating it into your marketing activities if you haven't already. The other thing to think about is the Facebook-Twitter rivalry. Though the two social networks have different audiences and purposes, they have many of the same features -- most recently, hashtags for Facebook and Instagram video. I guess we'll just have to see who wins out in this social media war -- but it's definitely something to keep our eyes on. To get the full rundown of the Instagram video launch, check out this post on our blog.
Facebook Rolls Out New and Improved Business Page Analytics
Answering the prayers of marketers worldwide, Facebook started rolling out a revamped version of its business page analytics tool -- Page Insights -- that is much easier to understand and use in day-to-day marketing. In the redesign, the three main changes all revolve around measuring engagement: Facebook now has modified metrics definitions, consolidated post-level metrics, and a brand new "People Engaged" tab. Though only available to a select group of publishers right now, this update will be slowly rolled out to all page owners this summer.
All of these changes to Page Insights will make it much easier for marketers to gauge their Facebook marketing efforts and justify their Facebook budgets to their bosses. Now, marketers have the ability to measure engagement, not just reach -- which is much more indicative of bottom-line success. There were quite a few changes to Page Insights, so check out our coverage of Facebook's update here.
Facebook Launches Photo Comments, From CNET
Facebook also introduced the ability to comment with photos. Now, users will find a small, grey camera icon in the right-hand side of the commenting field. By clicking it, users can attach a photo and include accompanying text if they want.
Although this new feature is a small addition to the massive social network's suite of features, it makes Facebook even more "meme-friendly," since it will be so much easier to share photos with friends. Brands and marketers should try getting creative with photo replies as a way to engage with their fans -- who knows, maybe these photo replies will help their content go viral! Learn more about Facebook photo comments on CNET.
Facebook Updates Page Post Link Ads in an Effort to Produce Better Conversion Rates for Advertisers, From Marketing Land
This week, Facebook made some new updates to its page post link ads will now allow users to customize images, create unpublished page post links ads directly in the ad flow, and post ads with off-site links. With these added features, users will also be able to customize the actual images for page post link ads instead of automatically choosing an image. Users will also be able to create unpublished post link ads that can be tailored to specific audiences.
Marketers currently using Facebook ads will find these new updates extremely helpful in targeting and engaging users. The added customization options give marketers better tools to drive off-site conversions and sales. As Facebook has stated before, page post link ads in News Feeds outperform typical domain ads. If you’re currently using Facebook ads, you might want to see how these new features can support your marketing. Learn more about these new ads on Marketing Land.
Facebook Video Ads Said to Be Delayed Until Fall, From Mashable
It seems as if the Facebook video ads aren’t going to be coming as soon as we expected. We reported on the new ad-serving format a little while ago -- and since then, we've been waiting with baited breath. According to a source for Advertising Age, Facebook will be delaying the release of its video ads for another season in an attempt to convince more advertisers of the value of its ad units.
With video being an unproven form of advertising on Facebook, it is something that can be difficult to measure against past data. Marketers who have already prepared for the launch of video ads should hold tight and be patient. Video ads are still an effective and engaging form of original content for social networks. Although Facebook isn’t equipped to capitalize on video content just yet, if you're itching to use videos to advertise, there are other networks like Tumblr, Twitter, and Google+ that have or are well on their way to adopting it. Learn more Facebook video ads on Mashable.
What do you think of all these changes on Facebook? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Image credit: Anssi Koskinen