Facebook introduces a new way to share structured status updates

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Facebook on Wednesday announced an innovative way to share what you’re listening to or watching in a status update. Soon, iOS and Android users will be able to use their phone’s microphone — similar to Shazam — to get the app to hear a song or hear a show or movie and post that the user is doing that.

For instance, if you’re watching The Simpsons, you can turn on this feature as you’re composing a status update and Facebook’s app will recognize the sounds. This is an optional feature that users can turn on if they wish.

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Facebook testing ads shortcuts on News Feed

AdsShortcutsFacebook is apparently making it easier for advertisers to monitor their ads by putting an ads shortcut link in the right side of News Feed.

As pointed out to Inside Facebook by Teddy Quinn of Facebook Preferred Marketing Developer Tenthwave, some page managers who advertise on Facebook are seeing a link titled “Ads Shortcuts,” at the top right corner of News Feed.

Options in the menu:

  • Create Ads
  • Create Post
  • Manage Ads
  • Billing
  • Help Center
  • Send Feedback

There’s also a toggle between “Today’s Results,” and “Lifetime Results,” so advertisers can monitor performance on a granular or long-term basis

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Facebook’s organic reach is declining — what do you need to do?

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One of the biggest topics in the Facebook marketing world right now is the decline of organic reach and the rise of Facebook advertising. Facebook page admins built their fanbases, sometimes through page like ads, and now they feel like they’re being bait-and-switched by being asked to advertise again to reach those same fans.

So, what can a frustrated Facebook marketer or page admin do? That’s what we asked Lance Neuhauser, CEO of Facebook Preferred Marketing Developer 4C (ads and insights). Neuhauser discussed the twilight of pure unpaid reach on Facebook and shows where smart marketers can find opportunity in an increasingly paid media world.

Inside Facebook: What is your reaction to the changes that Facebook has made to the News Feed algorithm and the diminishing organic reach?

Lance Neuhauser: If we realize that social as a whole is the world’s largest collection the least-biased observational data that has ever existed, and we realize the benefits that that has for marketers, then the goal for us as marketers to make sure that data set remains observational and it truly is indicative of user behavior and it really is as least-biased as possible. If we take this long-term view, then I would hope Facebook would continue to advance their algorithm, change what enters their News Feed and the user interface as a whole as much as humanly possible in order to provide the best possible user experience.

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Facebook promotes Chris Cox to Chief Product Officer

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Facebook has announced that Chris Cox, formerly the company’s VP of Product, has been promoted to the position of Chief Product Officer. This doesn’t reflect an organizational change, but will fortify his position as a chief member of the Facebook team. Cox is the first person to hold the role of CPO for Facebook.

A Facebook spokesperson commented on the announcement to Inside Facebook:

Chris Cox’s elevation to Chief Product Officer is a reflection of the major role he plays in overseeing the products and features at Facebook. Chris has been instrumental in shaping the evolution of people’s experience using Facebook, our culture and our company, and he’ll continue to do the same as CPO.

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‘Related’ posts on News Feed now shown vertically

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Facebook has made a slight change to the way related posts are shown, after a user clicks on a link in News Feed.

Previously, when someone clicked on a link in News Feed, Facebook would show a few stories related to the topic. This used to be done horizontally, but now it appears that Facebook is testing this vertically, taking up more room in the News Feed.

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Study: How can a brand survive with Facebook’s algorithm?

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Facebook’s News Feed algorithm has been the bane of many a marketer’s existence for months, but Copenhagen-based Komfo released a study last week with tips on how to make the changes work for Pages.

The bottom line of the study is that businesses must create Facebook relevant and engaging content, and move away from the idea that a large fan base will make a brand exceptional. This might seem like a no-brainer, but Komfo says its more important to have a smaller fan base that truly loves a brand and wants to engage with it.

Hans Tosti, Komfo’s Customer Development Specialist, said in a blog post:

Brands should focus on having smaller fan bases, create some local pages and actually ensure that the users who like their page really love the brand and want to engage with it. Fan engagement is a crucial factor on Facebook, and as long as you prove to Facebook that your fans really are willing to engage with you, no matter the size of your fanbase, the algorithms will automatically ensure that your brand shines through in the newsfeed.

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Facebook wants to clean up like-baiting and other spam

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Facebook vowed Thursday to keep the News Feed cleaner of spam, calling out pages that use like-baiting and other shady techniques to game the algorithm and receive outstanding organic reach.

Many times, passion pages or other types non-business affiliated pages will share an image while begging for likes, comments, and shares — launching the content into more News Feeds. However, Facebook says that this content is, on average, 15 percent less relevant than content with similar vital stats.

So Facebook is taking action against like-baiting posts, as well as content that is repeatedly shown in News Feed and spammy links.

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Facebook to enlarge images in sidebar ads

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As advertisers flock to the News Feed and often eschew the right sidebar, the value has declined for many cases. Facebook looks to rectify that by making images in the sidebar ads bigger, the company announced Wednesday.

According to Facebook, these sidebar ad images will use the same proportions as desktop News Feed ads, they will be larger than past sidebar ads, and there will be fewer of them.

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Facebook attempts to demystify its privacy settings, will test clearer prompts

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One of the biggest points of confusion among Facebook users comes with privacy settings. It’s something that Facebook as a company takes seriously, engineers and managers told reporters Tuesday.

Every day, Facebook performs 80 trillion checks to ensure that users’ content is shown only to the audiences they intended. User input is also valued highly, as Facebook runs 4,000 surveys per day in 27 languages, gauging opinion on privacy settings and changes.

But soon, users on both desktop and mobile will see clearer calls to action and options to let them know just who they’re sharing content with. One of the chief complaints the Facebook privacy team has received is when unintended recipients see content, most likely because the user has privacy set incongruently.

So what’s going to happen?

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Facebook testing ‘Listen Now’ call to action button on desktop API?

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One of the most popular ad formats on Facebook right now involves the call to action button, prompting a user to sign up or buy now, among other commands. Rob Kischuk of PerfectPost noticed that Listen Now, previously available only for mobile, has been added to the API for desktop ads. He notes this could mean Facebook is preparing to have the Listen Now button be available as a desktop ad option.

Kischuk described to Inside Facebook what he’s been seeing, in terms of calls to action:

“CALL” is still present but still doesn’t work. They have also added MISSED_CALL and CALL_NOW to the API, which is curious. I speculated before that they were working on click-to-call like Twitter, but it almost seems like they might be building more phone capabilities into the feed.

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