Facebook Isn’t Dying – It’s Growing….
As reported by TechCrunch, Facebook had another strong quarter in Q4 2016, earning $8.81 billion in revenue. This represents a 53% jump from the same time last year.
During the past year, Facebook’s daily active users number rose 18% to 1.23 billion people. This means that you can potentially reach 18% more people on Facebook!
“We’ve seen continued growth and engagements on our platform, and our ads business is doing well, too. Total revenue grew by 51% year-over-year to $8.8 billion, and advertising revenue was up 53% to $8.6 billion,” said CEO Mark Zuckerberg in the earnings call.
According to Facebook’s chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg:
“Facebook now has 4 million paying brands, along with another 500,000 on Instagram.”
Here are three more interesting Facebook stats to know:
• 65 million businesses are using Facebook Pages, and there are now over 5 million business profiles on Instagram.
• 400 million people use Facebook Messenger audio and video calling each month
• The average price per Facebook ad rose 3 percent during the fourth quarter of 2016
Facebook Ads is a powerful advertising channel, but only if you nail your audience targeting and know how to evaluate your ad cost.
Gif’s, Gif’s and More Gif’s
AdWeek recently reported this – Facebook now allows brands to include animated GIFs in their video ads.
Affinitiv digital marketing specialist Chris Ruberg shared the screenshot below, displaying a pop-up atop the part of Facebook’s Ads Manager where brands would create video ads.
You can either create GIFs yourself or use sites like GIPHY to find fun content.
Facebook’s suggestions for the best results:
• Choose high-quality images or animations
• Use a link ending with .gif
• Use a GIF with a file size less than 8MB
• Use a GIF with less than 20% text on the image
• Avoid GIFs that flash or are grainy, as your boosted post may not be approved
GIFs, like video ads, have the potential of returning higher click-through rates and a lower cost-per-click price. Using GIFs in your Facebook video ads is another way to stand out in the newsfeed
We have also been starting to test Cinemagraph’s (basically fancy gif’s). We will keep you update on the results.
More Data for Your Video Ads
With the whole issue of Facebook not reporting video views correctly they have been adding more and more data points to their Video Analytics.
Facebook truly believes in the future of Video Ads. The social media network recently announced that it’s adding new video reporting options for a better overview of ad results.
Moreover, Facebook’s been working with their third-party verification partners so that they, in turn, can bring better insights to marketers.
Now, you can see new in-view and duration metrics for your Video Ads, including:
• Milliseconds that an ad was on the screen.
• Milliseconds that 50% of the ad was on the screen.
• Milliseconds that 100% of the ad was on the screen.
I also have touched on this recently – but make sure that when creating video ads, don’t forget to add captions. According to Facebook, captioned video ads increase video view time by an average of 12%. Another study of Facebook video ads discovered that 41% of videos were almost meaningless without sound.
Facebook also announced that it would introduce new buying options later this year across Facebook, Instagram and Facebook Audience Network:
- Completed-view buying: Advertisers will only pay for video ads that have been viewed entirely, for any duration up to 10 seconds.
- Two-second buying: Advertisers can buy video ads according to Media Ratings Council criteria, which include two-second views where the video is at least 50% on the screen.
- Sound-on buying: Advertisers will be able to buy ads with an option to only pay when videos play with the sound on. Facebook videos typically show up in the News Feed on mute. Under new criteria, the views will only count when the volume is on.
Messenger Ad Placement
Facebook is starting to run out of ad space for everyone that wants to run ads on the network. So they are rolling out new placements. And one of them is ads within the Facebook Messenger App.
Facebook’s product manager Eddie Zhang announced in a blog post that the social network is testing ads on Messenger home screen. Advertisers will be able to place an ad in an area of Messenger below your recent conversations.
“Businesses have long been telling us that they are very excited about the potential of the Messenger platform to reach their customers and help them to drive sales, build brand awareness and increase customer satisfaction.”
This one could be huge….
Updates to the Newsfeed Algorithm
This is nothing new – but Facebook is always striving for relevant content in your newsfeed. (so no more spammy clickbait crappy news…)
As reported by AdWeek, Facebook’s been working on improving its News Feed algorithm to bring users more timely and relevant content.
On January 31, Facebook announced that the goal with News Feed is to show people the stories that are most relevant to them.
These two updates will help to better rank posts in peoples’ feeds:
• Incorporating new signals to better identify and rank authentic content.
• Better predicting and ranking in real-time, delivering people more relevant posts.
With this update, Facebook’s emphasizing the need for authentic content.
Research scientists Akos Lada and James Li and engineering manager Shilin Ding described Facebook’s efforts to identify authentic content for News Feed:
“With this update, we’re adding new universal signals to determine whether a post might be authentic. To do this, we categorized pages to identify whether or not they were posting spam or trying to game News Feed by doing things like asking for likes, comments or shares.”
A great example, if page posts are often being hidden by people reading them, it’s a signal that it might not be relevant or authentic.
Moreover, if there is a lot of engagement from many people on Facebook about a topic, or if a post is getting a lot of engagement, Facebook’s algorithm will quickly understand that the topic might be temporarily more important.
What this update means for Facebook marketers:
Facebook anticipates that most Pages won’t see any significant changes to their distribution in News Feed. Some Pages might see a small increase in referral traffic or outbound clicks, and some Pages might see minor decreases.
The best formula to get your posts in front of your target audience is to post stories that are relevant to your audience.
Updates to Trending topics
According to AdWeek, in order to make the Trending section more relevant, Facebook is changing how it identifies trending topics. While topics were highlighted in the past based on what users were engaging with on the platform, Facebook will now factor in the number of publishers posting about a given topic, combined with the user engagement.
Facebook Stories – Coming to The Facebook App
On January 25, TechCrunch reported that Facebook launched Facebook Stories in Ireland on iOS and Android, and plans to bring it to more countries in the coming months.
The Stories from a users’ friends will appear on top of Facebook News Feed.
The company told TechCrunch:
“Facebook has long been the place to share with friends and family, but the way that people share is changing in significant ways. The way people share today is different to five or even two years ago — it’s much more visual, with more photos and videos than ever before. We want to make it fast and fun for people to share creative and expressive photos and videos with whoever they want, whenever they want.”
They are also rolling out Selfie masks (ala SnapChat)….
There you have it – those are some of the recent updates (and the latest and greatest). We will keep you up to date on items that we are testing and when new items roll out on Facebook’s platform.
Questions or comments? Love to you hear from you – post them below…