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What’s NEW with Facebook?

Over the past couple weeks we have seen major changes announced with Facebook.  Most of them are wrapped around fun Facebook Apps and Facebook features!

Riff – Collaborative Video APP

Inspired by the ALS Ice Bucket challenge, which saw tons of videos of people taking the cold plunge for charity Facebook goes directly after the Snapchat and Vine crowd that had disappeared for the cool new Apps.

Basically, you can shoot a video of up to 20 seconds in Riff; give it a title that instructs others what they should add to it like Happy Birthday Julie! Friends will see the video on Riff and get a notification inviting them to contribute, with each clip tacked on at the end.

It’s not all fun and games though; Facebook truly wants to beat YouTube at their own game. The Ice Bucket Challenge helped Facebook grow video views 50% from May to July 2014 to hit 1 billion per day. So Facebook created a tool to capitalize these viral videos, so it could soak up huge amounts of video engagement, I expect Riff to be utilized by brands and Facebook to find a way to monetize them.

Spherical videos can be seen on your News Feed

Facebook will soon support videos shot with 360-degree camera technology (similar to Google Maps’ Street View). These videos will allow you to change the perspective you see by clicking and dragging on the screen.

Track your online purchases and communicate with businesses within Messenger APP

Facebook’s standalone messaging app will soon be integrated into e-commerce sites. In the future, when you make a purchase online, you can choose to connect your Facebook account so that companies can send you notifications about what you bought directly in the Messenger app and you can ask for customer support for questions or returns.

If you hate getting multiple emails that confirm your order, tell you when your order has been shipped, and if your returns have been received, like me, you will love this update!

Videos you post on Facebook can be embedded elsewhere online.

Previously, if you uploaded a video to Facebook, you could only share the video by linking to it. This is another attempt to make it more attractive for people to upload their videos on Facebook instead of YouTube.

Shop Now and Call to Action Buttons

Although announced earlier in the year we are now just seeing shop now buttons all over Facebook!  There are multiple new ways for people to interact with businesses with their new call-to-action feature that will help consumers buy, book and shop with retailers.

Facebook Scrapbook

Facebook is starting to pilot an optional way for you to organize photos of your child, using a special tag you choose to create. If you choose to tag your child in a photo it will be added to a customizable scrapbook making it easier to share and add additional photos as time goes on. This way you can keep all of your baby photos in one place!

So far the first quarter of 2015 has been exciting for Facebook; we are dying to see what the entire year will bring!  Will Facebook finally become the new PayPal and allow you to purchase products and services right through their system and manage the entire transaction?

Finally, if you love social media and business tips, I would like to personally invite you to join my Social Media Group on LinkedIn at:

Julie Van Ameyde is the owner of Simply Social Media. She puts her combined knowledge of social media platforms and best practices as a veteran business owner to work for clients in a myriad of vertical markets, including law, medicine, finance, technology, manufacturing, retail and service-based organizations. In addition, she contributes considerable time and energy to civic outreach programs, as well as community and charity groups. Contact Julie at: 248-773-7110 or

Sources: Facebook, CNN Money and Digital Trends

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