Facebook To Deprioritise Publisher Content: You will all, no doubt, have read up on this by now, but it’s worth noting again. This is not unexpected; it’s been trailed in various more-or-less-cryptic ways for months, but the implications for brands on Facebook are going to be significant. Bear in mind that these changes are going to be implemented “in the coming months.” As yet there’s very little clarity about exactly how they will affect content. Simply put, users will “see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see more of will be held to the same standard—it should encourage meaningful interactions between people.” What does this actually mean? Well, it means that the concept of “organic reach” for brand is largely dead in 2018, and advertising spend is even more of a prerequisite to attain cut-through. It also means that all that money people spent to equip themselves to be video creators doesn’t look like quite the sound investment it may once have. Brands and publishers will now have to focus on creating content that drives meaningful engagement in comments. Smart teams will already be thinking about how to position employees and wider networks to assist with this, or about how to ensure that below-the-line engagement is a contractual obligation for talent in future. If you want to read a slightly more in-depth explanation of how this is likely to work, this interview with Wired with Adam Mosseri, a Facebook vice president, is illuminating.
Facebook Testing Local News and Events Section: TESTING, so, you know, not actual news. Still, this chimes with the “meaningful interactions” stuff. It seems that Zuckerberg’s announcement will also work to promote more local/community content, so this would dovetail with that. No word on when, or indeed whether, this will actually be a thing, but one to bear in mind.
Some Updates To Twitter’s DMs for Business: Basically these are just some tweaks such as read receipts, typing indicators à la Messenger, etc. Nothing huge, but if you use Twitter for customer service these are all sensible, helpful updates.
Google Assistant Comes To More Devices, Launches ‘Actions’: The main thing that’s important to note here is that, as of the now, Google’s Voice Assistant lets anyone build ‘Actions’ for it, much like the Recipes which you can build for Alexa. Obviously subject to approvals, etc., but if you’re thinking of making stuff for voice, then bear in mind that you should consider Google as well as Amazon’s device.
You Can Now Buy Animated Snapchat Filters: Like the ordinary ones, but, er, ANIMATED! If you’re a brand with several hundred thousand quid to throw at Snapchat, THIS is what you can spend them on. OK, fine, I am guessing at the price, but judging by previous product fees, one can make a few assumptions. Still, how can you put a price on the ability to create an animated version of your brand values for users to interact with as they document their own PERSONAL LIVED BRAND STORY? Well, quite.
Snapchat Usage Data: This is interesting: a whole bunch of allegedly secret info from Snapchat about how users actually use the platform, containing data on the number of messages sent over time, Stories usage, etc., etc. The main takeaway from this, should you want me to spoon feed you rather than drawing your own conclusions, is that (SURPRISE!) people use Snapchat as a messaging app far more than they do to consume stories. It’s a peer-to-peer network, rather than a broadcast one.
Confercal: As far as I can tell, this is a REALLY practical listing site for conferences and events in marketing and tech worldwide. Take a look, it might be helpful.
WhatsApp Business Launches on Android: This is actual news. It’s out in the UK! Right now! Create a business profile, put your WhatsApp details on your website—go crazy! The suite of features looks useful; definitely worth playing with and considering adding to your infuriatingly long list of ways customers can make your life a misery.