Facebook, the world’s largest social media organisation has been introducing new features on a regular basis, which they slowly roll out to their users over the course of the year. It can be quite difficult to keep up with these changes that improve in the running of the network.
Facebook is slated to make some major improvements in its system this year, some of which have already started taking place behind the scenes. If a user masters these new features, they can post updates using tools that can offer them a competitive edge. Below are just some of the most eye-catching and useful new features introduced lately to the Facebook network.
Changes to Status Updates:
The most elementary changes this year are being made to the way status updates are made. This feature is called “Lists” and is the first major update after introducing coloured backgrounds previously. This change is aimed at encouraging Facebook users to share more personal content. This feature allows users to make lists of anything they like. For instance, they can make lists of New Year’s Resolutions, To Do’s, restaurants to try, travel ideas etc.
The Push for Authenticity:
There have been some changes made lately to the timeline, which are not readily noticeable, but the impact can be felt. Major improvements have been made to the way content is delivered and presented to users. This was done after widespread concerns regarding Facebook’s shift from its original purpose, i.e., personal life-related updates. However, the immense advertising potential of Facebook was starting to be realised and has helped shape how Facebook operates today. The new changes aim to take Facebook back to its roots, as indicated recently by founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg.
Among the changes being made, developers are tweaking the algorithm to give priority to trustworthy content and news sources. Local news prioritisation is set to be introduced in the US followed by other countries in mid-2018.
Policy towards Click Baits/Engagement Baits:
Engagement Bait or Click Bait posts and content are experienced by the majority of Facebook readers almost every day. In reality, this practice is only for the publisher’s benefit, who then achieves a higher visibility rate due to high engagement.
Facebook has recently decided to put its machine learning capabilities to the test and automatically spot the aforementioned engagement type content material and make them less visible. The decision to penalise providers of Click Bait content has already been put into effect, in order to provide users with only credible content.
Introduction Free Sound Collection:
Besides releasing a dedicated mobile application last year, Facebook has gone further and introduced a free sound collection. The sound collection consists of free-to-use music and sound effects, meant to be used with Facebook videos. Although the project is still in its infancy, it has already amassed 1000 musical tracks and over 1500 effects. As videos have become a massive arsenal for SMB owners, Facebook looks to add even more user-friendly and effective features to its platform.
Mobile Friendly Uploading Options:
The problem of uploading portrait sized photos to Facebook has been plaguing users for quite some time. It looks like they have finally addressed this problem, even more so because of the increase in mobile traffic in recent years. Developers are working on seamless Mobile uploading features, including fixing the issue where vertical or portrait images are not cropped automatically.
Augmented Reality has become kind of a big deal in recent years, compounded more by the rise in popularity of social media games such as Pokemon Go!. Even photo filters and other editing apps on the network account for the AR sphere. The AR Studio, which is Facebook’s in-house dedicated platform, was launched last year in a closed Beta format for testing. Facebook has implemented such AR features to many areas of the social network, including when users upload profile pictures.
The Messenger overhaul mainly consists of additional features that have contributed to the overhaul of the app. Important features like introducing new features to group chats, addition to emoji and GIFS as well as improving the overall look of the app.
The effect of the New Changes
Facebook has aimed to make changes to the way it runs, in an effort to make it more youth-friendly. This step was taken after a significant decline in younger audiences among its user base was noted. The biggest and most important change that Facebook users will experience is in the timeline. Facebook is aiming to get away from company-sponsored posts and instead prioritising meaningful content from friends and family. Facebook has also announced plans for introducing new features like Facebook local, which would provide the same functionality as other similar apps like Foursquare and Yelp.