Facebook is constantly growing, updating, and testing new ideas. A lot of helpful things are in the pipeline, but here are three that are particularly noteworthy.
1) Video Algorithm to Focus on Views more than Engagement
Facebook is changing the rules for how EdgeRank is calculated for videos. They are adding a new variable near the top of their list, and that is how many times a video is unmuted or expanded to full size. Previously, likes, shares, and comments were the biggest engagement variables that determined how many people Facebook showed a video. And while those variables are still in the mix, whether or not people interactively watch a video has become the main one.
This has several implications, one of which is that videos that get people’s attention but end up being relatively lame will get served to more users. On the other side of that coin, content creators really need to make sure videos get people’s attention.
2) Adding a “Donate Now” CTA Option for Ads and Pages
Right now the list of available Calls To Action for ads and pages is limited to a handful of options such as Learn More, Sign Up, or Shop Now. Soon Facebook will add a “Donate Now” button to the list. The technical impact here is fairly limited. All of the buttons do the same thing– link the user to whatever site the advertiser desires. But the philosophical impact is quite big.
Until now, Facebook has not been an effective medium for direct fundraising. There are major reasons why this is true, partially because it is more of a personal space for users and they tend to reject solicitations. And while I do not foresee the culture of Facebook users changing significantly in the near future, Facebook is providing better tools for thoughtful fundraising efforts. Non-profits who will be able to get some traction with the new tools are most likely established and trusted organizations asking for small dollar gifts at key times in the areas of disaster relief and general humanitarian aid.
3) “Lead Ads” Are In Development
This is a big one. A potential game changer if it pans out. Facebook is testing a new type of ad that will enable users to fill out a form directly on Facebook without having to leave the site. Be it to sign up for a newsletter, free download, call back, petition, or similar approach, soon you may need to just click the Subscribe button in an ad, verify your auto filled contact information, and push submit without ever going to a landing page.
Facebook already has user’s contact information, so it will attempt to save them the step of needing to key anything in, all users need to do is make sure the auto filled information is correct. The implications here are huge, but there are foreseeable challenges as well. One thing is for sure, and that is the contact information a person stores in Facebook will become a much bigger deal.