If you just arrived back from vacation you might have noticed some changes on you Facebook account.
While most businesses slowed down during the summer break it seems like Facebook chose to put their work pace in higher gear instead. Facebook used this summer to introduce a number of new changes to their platform. To help you gain a quick overview of the changes I have listed the news in this post. Please add in a comment if I left any news out. Enjoy!
Facebook graph search
Graph Search finally was rolled out to all accounts that have set the language to English (U.S.). This new feature grants you with lots of new possibilities on Facebook as it is an upright search engine designed to search within the Facebook universe. Where as a search for restaurants in London conducted on e.g. Google will give you a list of places based primary on 1) paid placements and 2) Googles algorithms. When searching on Facebook you will be able get a much more personalized search result. On Facebook it is possible to search for restaurants in London liked by your friends. Same goes for “books my friends like” or “places my friends checked in”. Not only does this feature gives you some new search possibilities it can also become an easy-to-use alternative to more conventional search engines such as Google. The new Facebook search is based on the Bing search engine and it is indeed a interesting feature for businesses to take a look at.
News Feed story bumping
This algorithm change is actually a feature well known from NBC and is based on the idea: “If you haven’t seen it, it’s new to you!”. Often stories tend to get lost in the crowd and you might not see interesting updates from your friends. However, with the help of this new feature popular posts from your friends will be bumped up towards the top of you News Feed next time you log on. This is interesting in regard of having more people see your posts and hopefully this can help you gain a larger reach.
Facebook cover image rules
Even though Facebook earlier this year eased the rules for commercial use of cover-photo on pages they found the need to change the rules once again during this summer. Gone is the rule regarding the amount of text in the cover image. There is no longer a limitation of maximum 20% text which makes it easier to promote your business in the cover image.
No more asking poll questions
This summer the feature “Questions” was removed from Pages (still active in groups). With this change it is no longer possible to ask questions by using the “poll function” anymore.
Facebook said: “We’re no longer offering questions as an advertising product, or as a tool for all pages on Facebook, but we’re exploring the value questions bring to pages that produce public content — like news organizations, for example. Questions will remain as a tool for a small group of these types of pages, so that they can help us test a few improvements we’re making to the ways people and pages interact on Facebook.”
Hashtags is now clickable
For a long period of time hashtags (#) have appeared in Facebook updates though they had no active mode. This summer the Facebook hashtags became clickable making it possible to search for hashtags and to engage in conversations simply by adding a # in front of a word or a phrase. This feature is interesting from a business point of view as it allows your posts to become searchable in a whole new way. Combined with the new search function “Graph Search” you can now make your content appear when people search for specific topics, places, hashtags etc.
Facebook Insights got a facelift
The analyzing module Insights got a long-awaited facelift which not only is cosmetic but also grants new features such as an overview on when your fans are online and info on what time during the day and week that your Posts preforms the best. And you are able to compare your Posts in regards of reach and engagement so that you can ensure that you post the right content at the best time.
Facebook embedded posts
The news of Facebook introducing embedded posts is especially interesting for websites and blogs that wish to build a closer connection between Facebook and their main website. This allows you to embed pictures, videos, hashtags and other content directly on your website and also lets people like and share the post directly from the embed. This feature however, only allows you to embed posts that are set to public!