Whether you use Facebook to scroll through reels, stories and posts endlessly or play games and stay abreast of the latest news, the social media platform updates itself with innovative ideas to keep its users hooked on it.
For instance, in 2019, it launched Facebook Pay, a new payments service for the main site, WhatsApp and Instagram so that users can make payments or send money to others safely. Similarly, in March, Facebook’s parent company, now known as Meta Platforms, consolidated all products that came under automated app ads to help businesses maximise ad performance and achieve their goals.
Additionally, with Reels, which rolled out in February 2022 globally, Facebook aimed to support content creators earn money through its monetisation tools, while group admins got all resources to sustain communities on Facebook Groups.
Updates like these make Facebook one of the most popular social media platforms in the world, and it is constantly evolving to meet the needs of its users.
Here are the new Facebook updates introduced in 2022
Replacing profile videos
In February, the social media giant removed the video feature from the profile pages of its platform. This move is a part of their plan to simplify the Facebook experience and make it more focused on what people share and less about how they share it.
To make it seamless, Facebook allowed users to manually change their profile videos to pictures. Else, the cover image of the video would become their new profile picture in the dimensions of 170 x 170 pixels on desktops and 128 x 128 pixels on smartphones.
There’s no doubt that Reels is one of the most sought-after content forms on Facebook that keep us updated with new trends set by creators and influencers.
With the growing popularity of Facebook Reels since its introduction in the US in 2021, Facebook rolled out this short-form video feature across 150 countries on both Android and iOS the following year. The purpose of this update was to help creators get discovered, reach out to their target audience and earn money.
Additionally, Facebook announced a slew of opportunities for creators, such as Overlay Ads and Stars, to earn through reels basis eligibility. While Overlay Ads is available for those who are a part of the in-stream ads programme, Stars is limited to certain Pages in some countries.
To further support its creators’ community, Facebook added more editing features for reels, such as remixing a reel along with an existing and publicly shared one on Facebook, increasing their duration to 60 seconds, saving them as drafts and providing video clipping tools.
It also updated its user experience to expand the reach of Facebook Reels through Feed, Groups and Watch.
New tools for Group admins
Facebook Groups offer a plethora of benefits to all their members. You can strike a conversation, participate in polls and discussions, as well as use the search feature to get any data shared earlier. Moreover, you can be a part of a like-minded community and voice your thoughts or concerns. Depending on the groups you sign up for, you may visit it daily or monthly.
At the 2020 Facebook Communities Summit, it was highlighted that at least 1.8 billion people use Facebook Groups every month. As a result, Meta has been taking more steps to support the growth and safety of these Groups.
In March 2022, Meta updated its Groups with new features, such as adding QR codes that are linked to respective groups. You can easily download or copy and paste the code from the Share menu and then share it with whoever you like. When you scan the code, it will take you to the group’s About section from where you can request to join or join the group directly.
You can also join these groups through an invitation sent via email.
To improve security, admins can use Admin Assist and automatically delete any incoming post that is flagged as ‘containing false information’ by third-party fact-checkers. Additionally, the feature can also be used to accept or decline member requests based on certain criteria such as whether they answered all the member questions.
Facebook shared that its mute function has also been enabled for admins and moderators to ‘suspend’ group members from activities such as posting unwanted comments, reacting, participating in group chats or entering Rooms.
It has also updated the Admin Home page with a new overview page on the desktop and an insights summary on mobile.
Enhancing brand safety
Today, Facebook is also used by advertisers and businesses as a content marketing platform to increase visibility, improve sales and expand the target audience network.
On 17 March, the social network platform introduced two key functions to improve brand safety and enhance control of the News Feed experience for this audience.
Starting with Zefr, its initial partner, Facebook aims to get details on how ads appear in its Feed. They will also look at new ways to see how the ads appear next to content. For instance, whether an in-stream ad suits the video content that follows. This function is critical for advertisers, social media managers and content creators who can then use the data to match their marketing goals.
Also, Facebook is designing the controls of its content-based Feed so that businesses can choose where their ads appear.
Integrating automated ad products
Adding to the latest Facebook updates, Meta announced the integration of all of its automated systems for ads under the Meta Advantage Suite. The two groups of products that will be included are termed ‘Advantage’ and ‘Advantage+’. The purpose of the tools is to help Facebook advertisers and brands better their advertising audience.
Through ‘Advantage’, users can automate some aspects of the ad campaigns they may have set up manually. For instance, they set Detailed Targeting options within their target audience. However, if the user is a marketer who is looking to completely automate their campaign setup process, then they can opt for the other product, ‘Advantage+’.
Meta Advantage Suite includes other features, such as Advantage+ Shopping Campaigns, which are currently being tested in beta version and will be rolled out by year end.
Other updates introduced on Facebook in 2022
According to Facebook, Black-owned small businesses have higher lost sale and closure rates than others. To support these businesses, Meta announced that it would host weekly events with influencers, business owners and industry experts exclusively from February (which is marked as the National Black History Month in the US) and onwards.
For creators, Facebook launched subscriptions in 2020, so that they could build content-focused businesses on the platform. This, too, has been updated and now includes creating and using personalised links and downloading email lists to grow business online. A new feature in the coming months would be to help subscription creators get information such as sales, estimated earnings and estimated taxes.
With both Facebook and Instagram promoting on-platform shopping, it is becoming imperative for Meta to create a safe and reliable experience for all using its shopping features. As a result, it has improved its social commerce toolkit with policies for brands selling on Facebook.
(Featured and Hero Image Credit: Brett Jordan/Pexels)