A great social media campaign is one that emotionally connects a brand to its audience. Facebook is accomplishing this on their own platform by consistently reminding users of their mission to build a community and create close connections. They have implemented many social media campaigns to remind users of this mission, the most notable being the regular “Friendiversary” videos they make to remind users of the friendships they have built on Facebook. Most recently, in honor of their annual Friends Day, Facebook launched a new feature that celebrates the uniqueness of users’ friendships. This campaign creates a video of awards given to users’ friends based on their history and activity on the site. The titles vary from automatically generated ones, such as the photo op friend, to customizable superlatives. In addition to the awards, Facebook released a video series titled “A Friend Story” that follows 6 groups of friends and showcases the true value of their friendship. With over 44 million awards shared within the first day this campaign has been a success. This success lies in the campaigns ability to remind users about the friendships they care about most and why. It is by using a combination of video and interactive features that Facebook is able to emotionally connect with its users and show them the value the platform adds to their everyday lives.
The numbers are in for the final quarter of ’17, and signs point to the fall of the Facebook Empire. While their numbers are still quite high, reports show a loss of 1 million daily average users. That’s equivalent to Dallas or country of Cyprus deciding not to use Facebook.
Reasons for fleeing Facebook
1. Social media plethora – In the beginning, Facebook was the simplified answer for those struggling to manage their page on MySpace. The market was new, and the potential for growth was huge. Now, the social media market is filled with over forty social media platforms worldwide, including mainstream ones like Instagram and Twitter and niche ones like Fetlife and Untappd.
2. Too much advertising – The platform started as a way for people to connect and share life. Now, it’s another webpage filled with ads trying to sell you the latest thing.
3. Incredibly invasive – Facebook openly tracks activity on its platform and secretly across the net. Their artificial intelligence algorithms use this information to figure out which ads to place in user feeds. This is to provide a more personalized experience. However, this kind of information tracking has the potential for more than just identity theft.
4. Addictive Drug-
Rodger McNamee, an early investor, has come forward with others to take measures against social media. They are pushing for research on the addictive effects on the brain. Mr. McNamee is quoted in the Washington Post. “Facebook appeals to your lizard brain — primarily fear and anger, and with smartphones, they’ve got you for every waking moment.”
Social media has come with a lot of convenient features. At the same time, there are some potential disadvantages that can come as a result of Facebook and other forms of social media. This has resulted in some people saying that Facebook is bringing a negative impact on society. There have been even former execs that have stated that Facebook is having a negative impact on society as a whole. This has caused Facebook to talk back and address these claims.
It is understandable how people would come to this conclusion. Some people have stated that it is the short-term nature that awards the dopamine and other gratification related hormones in people. Also, people are more focused on connecting from their devices as opposed to actually meeting with one another in person. While many people may find it very convenient to connect with one another from social media, there are some people who are feeling the impact that is coming from such dependence on these platforms.
Recently, there has been a look at the impact that Facebook has brought to society as a whole after it was done growing and expanding. The executives at Facebook are paying more attention to the responsibility they have on society and are looking for ways that it can help Facebook bring forth positive changes in society. As of right now, there are tons of users on Facebook connecting with one another and even marketing their companies.
Suicide is considered a serious issue in social media. It is so serious that social media platforms such as Facebook is doing everything it can to prevent an actual suicide from happening. It has recently released an app that is designed to detect suicidal posts and offer help to individual who have made the post. While users were encouraged to report suicidal posts, this can be a little slow in that it can take a while for some Facebook users to have their posts read. One thing that this AI does is offer the user some kind of assistance in order to make sure everything is ok.
One interesting thing about suicide is that it is ultimately unpredictable. For one thing, each case of suicide is unique. Therefore, it is also very sensitive because there is no telling what is going to trigger the hurting user. While this proposal can be considered helpful when it comes to this type of issue, it can cause a bit of concern over other ways that this type of software can be used.
There have been efforts to make the internet a safe and supportive place for people, especially that the effects of cyber-bullying and harassment are made more apparent. Therefore, people on the development end of social media are doing everything they can to make social media a welcome platform for people of diverse mindsets.
You may or may not have noticed a decline in personal posts on Facebook. We all have friends that share, and possibly overshare, but overall personal posts have declined. What does that mean for the social media giant? It’s time to mix it up.
To increase personal sharing, Facebook plans to duplicate Snapchat Stories, threads made of photos and videos which disappear in twenty-four hours. After successfully piloting the method on Instagram, Facebook plans to debut the new feature in Ireland.
It appears that social media is becoming more visual. At one point, users would text posts to a number off their flip phones to broadcast on Facebook. Thanks to smartphones and apps, it’s now easier than ever to tweet, post, stream, and share. Facebook calls this the “camera in your pocket.”
Individuals and businesses can already take advantage of Facebook Live, a way of live-streaming videos. Some share their adventures, while others share product demonstrations.
For businesses, the stories feature may provide an opportunity to demonstrate their humanity while promoting products and services. For small businesses and self-employed individuals, these benefits are crucial to success.
Of course, we’ve also seen a number of important social campaigns playing out on Facebook in the past year. There was the Ice Bucket Challenge, Standing with Standing Rock, and of course, Election 2016. It’s fair to anticipate increased involvement in these movements and others as Facebook moves toward an audio/visual future, and it could be the answer to a growing distrust in mainstream media.
In the near future, Facebook’s userbase will be able to point out when certain news stories are false, propagandist literature. With enough such input from its users, Facebook would then declare such material to be of disputed validity through a fact-checking program it is trialing within the German market.
The program’s functionality is as follows: stories flagged as questionable by users would be sent over to Correctiv, a third-party fact checking operation. Should Correctiv’s analysis indicate the story to be shaky, it would lose priority within the algorithm that Facebook uses for posting stores into its news feed and thus reduce the number of users that ever even see the propaganda. A spokesperson for Facebook commented that while the current focus is on Germany, the company is already plotting similar measures in other countries.
Germany was chosen as an initial market after the country experienced its own issues with the proliferation of mendacious material, such as a viral story claiming that St. Reinold had been set on fire by Muslims; the story incorrectly commented that St. Reinold was the country’s oldest church and greatly exaggerated the scale and attendance of a minor fire within the institution. The German government has previously threatened companies like Facebook with libel and slander for failing to curb hate speech appearing on their platforms.
Germany’s issues with propaganda seem to echo the same worries and misinformation that grew rampant during the closing months of the American election of 2016; example false news stories included an endorsement of Donald Trump by the Pope prior to the election. Such stories grew and proliferated in far greater a number than the readership of any legitimate stories, much to the benefit of Trump’s campaign according to some analysts. Barack Obama commented that such stories amounted to nonsense and conspiracy.
To combat the spread of fake news, social media giants Facebook will be working with ABC News, Snopes, Politifact and the Associated Press, as well as other news organizations in a coalition to fact-check articles posted on the site. Facebook articles flagged as fake news will be denied access to Facebook ads, a popular viral spamming tactic purveyors use to attract traffic to third party websites and spread false news quickly.
Fake Third-Party Sites
Changes will only affect the spread of fake news. Sites that specialize in political satire, opinions, or anything else that cannot be easily classified will not be affected. Additionally, Facebook will be checking the authenticity of third party websites to see if they are masquerading as popular news sites. Sites full of adverts will also be ineligible to display Facebook ads on their home pages. Typically, fake news third party sites are full of cheap ads and fake news spreaders make more money when Facebook users click on the fake articles and are redirected to the websites.
Sharing of Facebook Posts
Articles that a lot of people read and do not share will be placed lower on the feeds. Usually, when people read good articles, they share. Facebook will use the read to sharing ratio of articles to flag poor quality or misleading articles. If users still insist on sharing the article, a reminder will pop up indicating that the credibility of that particular article is questionable.
The company is trying to work with many partners as it can to minimize the spread of fake news. Facebook is also a part of another coalition with major media and tech companies including CNN, New York Times, Google, and Twitter called the First Draft Coalition. The First Draft Coalition’s sole objective is to eliminate the spread of misleading news articles on the internet. Currently, Facebook has over 1.8 billion active users, with each of them spending about an hour daily on the site. The company will be looking to increase these numbers by fine-tuning the content so that people can easily find what they are looking for and visit regularly.
Facebook has made changes to its interface in order to maintain the intimate conversations with friends and family that it used to be known for. These changes extend to make text statuses into something akin to photos through access to colored backgrounds. Users can now choose any to appear behind the status’ text. Other aesthetic options include color gradients. Facebook will be rolling out these features over time. Initially, colored statuses can only be created by Android users; however, everyone, regardless of their viewing platform of choice, will be able to see them.
A company spokesperson commented that the changes were being made in order to attract more attention. Another potential gain with this approach would be a surge in “original sharing;” most shares come from other shared posts. Lastly, Facebook’s statistics have indicated continual decline in newly shared content since 2015, with professionally published content continuing to surge ahead of original shares, reducing the latter’s presence.
Facebook has already made some eye-catching changes, such as rendering short status messages in huge fonts. Both the colored background and font changes could be seeing as ways to snipe at Twitter despite Facebook’s comparatively giant pool of users. When Facebook added a News Feed, it focused solely on text. When statuses were posted, the word “is” used to precede them, indicating that the person was engaging in real time. Despite these aesthetic tweaks, Facebook’s CEO has maintained that video, 360 degree interfaces and VR will be the next steps in Facebook’s evolution.
Critics are claiming that fake Facebook news stories influenced the presidential election, however, the claim is impossible to substantiate. While the social media platform is not a news outlet, the default setting for users is the “news feed,” which 44 percent of U.S. adults use to read the latest news.
Facebook users see stories based on previous interactions and algorithms that include profile information, which relies on individuals to decide which news stories were accurate. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently posted about several changes that the social media platform will initiate to crack down on inaccurate information, including making it easier for users to report false news and cracking down on ads that are purposefully misleading. They will also work with fact-checking organizations and begin testing labels for misleading stories, however, Zuckerberg stressed that Facebook will err on the side of free speech.
Even President Obama weighed in on the issue; he was quoted as saying “If we are not serious about facts and what’s true and what’s not, if we can’t discriminate between serious arguments and propaganda, then we have problems.” Despite announcing changes to reduce the amount of fake news on Facebook, Zuckerberg insists that fake news would not influence voters.
The problem is that people share fake news and Facebook relies on giving users what they want, since they are an ad-driven company. It is really up to individuals to question news stories from unreliable sources on any social media platform.
Facebook has recently launched Workplace, a private social network for businesses. Contrary to the conventional reasons for using Facebook at work (distractions), Workplace is different—it aims to provide employees with a platform to professionally chat with their colleagues in a bid to get work done.
Unlike the normal version of Facebook, the platform isn’t connected to users’ existing accounts and is ads-free. Instead, organizations sign up and pay a monthly fee, which is based on the number of its users. It is free for educational institutions and non-profit organizations.
New Corporate Features
Besides the normal features found in the regular version of Facebook such as groups chats, video calls, news feeds, and live video among others, Workplace has a few new corporate extras such as single sign-on, dashboard analytics, better IT integration, and separate Work Chat app for Android and iOS to enable employees keep in touch when they are out of office.
Workplace is entering a market where a number of players—Yammer, Slack, Chatter, Jive and Hipchat among others—have picked up remarkable tractions. Nonetheless, the platform is hoping to woo people with a plethora of new twists.
To begin with, Facebook has thrown most of the pricing models used by its competitors out of the window and plans to follow its own book of metrics. For 1-1,000 active users, the platform will charge $3 per user monthly; for 1,001-10,000, the cost declines to $2 per user; and even less for more than 10,000 monthly active users. Additionally, Facebook will be more accountable for its service. It will only charge for active users and how engaging it manages to make the service.
For now Facebook has managed to send a clear message to the market: It is still the leading platform for billions of users to connect to one another in the digital sphere, and is now aggressively entering the corporate world.