Social Media platforms go through constant modifications in attempts to be the best platform available. This ranges from the things you can see and are promoted such as new features to the hidden changes such as the 20% rule that was altered for images a while back.
The last few days however have seen lots of changes occur that were rolled out around April but have come into effect on all Facebook accounts. And there have been even more announced as potential changes. So for those who have been getting irritated by the changes here is a quick run through of what has changed and what might be about to change over the rest of the year.
The first, and either biggest or smallest change depending on how you use Facebook on mobile devices, was confirmed. Facebook removed the ability to send chat messages via anything other than the messenger app on mobile devices. The advantages to Facebook are that they now have another app on your device that you will be forced to use. Unless you are going to oppose the change and only use the Facebook Messenger option on a desktop computer as a show of defiance.
The next change can probably go in multiple categories, but the Emoji update is the first step to standardizing the emoji on mobile. For years we have seen a divide between iOS and Android users. But with Facebook creating a set that are the same on each, chances are we will soon have that standardized. But that hopefully won’t come too soon. Long live the iOS emoji’s!
Next up are the changes that had us here in the office most annoyed. One big and a few subtle changes to Pages occurred. You could no longer use Facebook acting as your Page. This means that you have to search out your newsfeed for pages you have liked as your Page, which has been placed in the left hand bar where you can see your recent likes and start ads. Another effect this has is that when viewing other pages clicking to like a page will always make you personally follow it rather than a Page you manage. To like as your Page, you have to click the 3 dots and choose “like page as…”. Overall these changes mean Facebook is more revolved around users rather than businesses/companies the changes will soon pass into normality, but the change still came as an irritant to most people who got back to work after a short break.
Photos & Videos
Facebook has never made a secret of their desire to move into VR. They even bought Oculus 2 years ago. Facebook is thus intent on making 360 Photos the next big addition to Facebook with the platform now supporting 360 photos that are added to your timeline, although for most of us that will be limited to being able to look around on 1 axis at panoramic photographs. Photographs that are capable of this will have a compass on them.
Facebook engineer Bob Baldwin also announced that the popularity of video online will see users be allowed to comment on posts using video. It is a move that experts predict will bring in the elusive younger users to Facebook who have been utilising other platforms due the ability to utilise a wider range of multimedia options.
More photo news that was being spread this week was the plan from Facebook to delete all of a user’s synced photos if they do not move onto the ‘Moments’ app that was released earlier this year. It is a harsh tactic, and it appears to be the same method they used with the chat as mentioned above. But it can’t be said Facebook aren’t being transparent, and they are sending out messages to everyone this will effect. And just like all Facebook apps, it is free.
Overall the changes brought in by Facebook including these and the once from earlier in the year were not all in the same vein. It does appear as if there is perhaps less of a strategic vision that their once was. But that doesn’t mean these changes aren’t all positive.
Here’s to hoping the next round of changes involve ways in which small businesses can be helped.