New Features from Facebook (Yep, Again!)

Social networking has continued to become a bigger and bigger player in the online marketing world in the past few years, though Internet experts weren’t exactly sure how to harness its power for marketing purposes at first. Right now, Facebook is one of the heaviest hitters – if not the heaviest – in the social media marketplace. It is a hugely popular tool for businesses, advertisers and individual users alike. So far this year, the social networking giant has seen several big changes.

The New King of Display Ads
One big milestone for Facebook came in May, when comScore released its quarterly report. The big news for Mark Zuckerberg and company was the announcement that Facebook accounted for 346 billion display ads out of the nearly 1.11 trillion display ads that were delivered to Internet users in the first quarter of 2011. This made Facebook the most popular spot for display ads – accounting for approximately one third of the market – and a very wise place for online marketers to spend their ads budgets.
New Features: Timeline and More
Several new Facebook features have been introduced to the public in September.
  • Timeline: Mr. Zuckerberg announced the new Facebook Timeline feature this month, which will open up all sorts of new possibilities for brands as well as individual users. Basically, Facebook users will now be able to look back at a chronological history of their lives in the online space. The Timeline feature may prove to be especially advantageous to brands that want to create a compelling company narrative as a new, more personalized way to reach out to their audiences.
  • “Like Button” is going to see some changes, too, which Zuckerberg announced at the Sept. 22 f8 conference. Research has shown that people are often hesitant to use the “like” button because they don’t want to blindly endorse certain content, even if they do like it or find it interesting. Now, with Facebook Gestures, users are able to say more specific things, like tell people they just read an article, listened to a song or watched a video, rather than just claiming they “liked” it. There is still no “dislike” button, but for online marketers, this is probably a good thing.
There’s sure to be more news from Facebook in 2012; there’s no way of knowing what’s up the social media behemoth’s sleeve. For now, it’s safe to say Facebook isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
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