Last week I joined the Facebook workshop which outlined new products and tools for developers to connect consumers with brands (the things we Social Media Marketers do for kicks!) As a data and trends geek the insights weren't all that surprising and really build on what they have been focusing on over the last few years. Here's a bit of a rundown:
Last year Facebook introduced Facebook Shops and it's set to continue to build on this through multiple tools which make it easier for your products to find your target customer, they call it "Discovery Commerce". It draws on data to create experiences that put people first so businesses can make connections that last, similar to how Amazon assumes what you'll purchase before you even think about making it!
The newly launched Application Programing Interface for Instagram, which will allow businesses to incorporate their own apps in its messaging platform to more easily facilitate engagements with consumers. Because over 90% of Instagram users follow a brand, this shift provides a massive opportunity for B2C interaction and also improves customer experiences.
Augmented Reality + Virtual Reality
Stepping up their AR + VR game in response to Snapchat, Facebook believes that AR and VR could revolutionise how people engage with brands- and how brands engage with people and will blur the lines between the physical and online shopping experience. Facebook says that 75% of all business owners expect to be utilising AR and VR technology in the next two years, while global spending on AR and VR is set to rise 6x. Read a full report here:
A commerce-related improvement was also announced for WhatsApp, the messaging platform with over two billion global users. These included reducing API configuration times from weeks to minutes, adding advanced engagement and notification abilities, and introducing automated messaging options for users to communicate with businesses
A new set of sponsored chat themes for Messenger was announced, as well as a new quick reply bar for shared images, and QR and payment links which make it easier to request and send money within your message threads.
Some other takeouts from the event were:
💡 We're a mobile-first world with mobile overtaking TV as our new screen of choice.
💡 In keeping with their Discovery Commerce announcements, data will be used to ensure people see adverts relevant to them. This one will be interesting to watch as the IOS changes start rolling out in full force.