Facebook’s latest updates (by April 2017)

Facebook is always updating their features. That we already know. But what are the latest updates of 2017 and how useful they truly are?
Facebook’s latest updates (by April 2017)
Photo Credit: esquireme.com

INTRO

Many Facebook updates are being made that you cannot keep track of or barely stay aware. But still you need to, especially if you work in digital environment. Here are 5 of the latest Facebook updates. Let’s analyse them a little.

www.facebook.com/games

1. News Feed Videos Will Play with Sound On by Default


FEBRUARY 2017

After a digging deeper into the Facebook user’s reactions to videos in their news feed, Facebook team realised that people are more responsive to videos which play with sound in their feed rather than having then on mute by default. Therefore they have released an update which automatically plays the video with the sound ON by default. However, if your phone is on “silent” then you need to turn your sound on in order to hear the video playing in your newsfeed. This seems about right.

My view on this is that it sounds fair enough! People are more attracted by sound in any environment they are. If you are walking on the street and you see someone passing by you, you don’t pay attention must of the times even if that person looks weird. We are living in a weird world, so nothing can leave us straight face anymore. But if you are walking on the street and you hear somebody swearing on the other side or a song you like playing loudly from a car far behind you, most of the times your first reflex is to turn and look to see what it’s about! That is way I would say this update seems legit!

2. “Love”, “Surprised”, “Angry”, “Laughing” and the other reactions will Weight More Than usual “Likes”


MARCH 2017

Facebook introduced “Reactions” about 1 year ago. And people are not afraid to use them, but only when they mean it! Facebook realised that by “love”, “laugh”, “anger” you express much more and you are more engaged to that particular post compared to the case in which that post was “likable” to you. We love, laugh, are annoying etc all the time, in our real life, but expressing that on Facebook is a totally different level. I only use love when my dad posts something nice or when a best friend of mine adds a lovely picture with her and her boyfriend or when my little brother is tagged in a photo with his high school friends. These are the people who matter to me most and so, I love all about them, online and offline! Same goes for brands. Apple fans will “love” the new iPhone Red and Apple’s initiative but Samsung fans will be “angry” about the new product release [Find out more about what fans think of the new iPhone 7 Red from our article here].

That is why, these reactions are much more related to our emotions and Facebook said: these must weight more, it’s another level of engagement. True! So, brands out there, be careful, it’s a thin line between love and hate!

3. Facebook Stories or Messenger Day


MARCH 2017

Very similar feature to Instagram stories (obviously, a part of the code programmed for this feature was already build so they had a basis for Facebook team to start), Messenger Day allows you to add some sparkles, salt and pepper to your daily posts in News Feed. However these will not be published into your friend’s feed but only in the Messenger app.

When you access Facebook Messenger you will see on top of the phone display what other people have done today as “the story” is daily only. The stories will disappear 24 h later and will be replaced with new ones.  Essentially you can add new text, colours and other features similar to Snapchat ones on top of your images and create a “slide show” like story. Not sure it’s useful to be honest, I don’t see myself using it.

Snapchat closed because people where not using it anymore as before so why are they trying to incorporate snapchat in Facebook? They already have it in Instagram! We shall see how long this new feature can last!

quote Stan Chudnovsky, Head of Product for Messenger quote

Billions of photos and videos have been sent capturing all those heartfelt, funny and serious messages that make the Messenger community so powerful. We love seeing how much fun people are having with Messenger’s new visual tools, especially our most popular art and effects like floating hearts and recently, Mardi Gras frames.

4. Reactions in Facebook Messenger


MARCH 2017

Yes, bringing the “reactions” forward again! You can “love”, be “angry”, “cry” , “laugh” not only at people’s posts that show up in your Newsfeed but also inside messenger when chatting with somebody if they are sending you a picture. What are they trying to achieve with this?

Are they trying to become Skype? Probably. Not.

Are they trying to make lazy people’s life easier? Probably.

Are they trying to knock out WhatsApp? Of course that’s it!

Are they trying to making you spend much more time in messenger? That’s for sure. This update makes you stop by more often in their messenger because you know you can easily react to your friend’s image by adding a “thumbs up” or ” laugh” reaction. Here’s how it works (nothing that you don’t already know):

Friend sends you image on chat, you can react using one of the following: love, laugh, surprised, cry, mad, thumbs up or thumbs down.

Then, once you have selected your emoji, you can preview and see it zoomed in.

Your friend gets a notification that you reacted to their photo.

I still don’t see the true value in having those emojis inside your chat unless you have a chat group and it makes sense for the whole gang to use emoji even for fun. But wait, there are not many Facebook chat groups because people have WhatsApp. So, yeah.

The fact is we already have emojis inside messenger anyways or am I dreaming? Plus, as a frequent user I do use emojis in messenger but creating them using the keyboard, you know, adding: 😉 or 😀 or 😛 or ^_^ which automatically transforms them, in messenger, in (“translated” in the message field in the same order “transformed”):

But hey, your friend would not know that you actually “Reacted” to his photo unless it’s attached to it as per zoomed preview above.

5. Live Location in Messenger


COMING UP

Facebook thinks that the user being able to share his location, real time, with his friends on Messenger would be of much help since a lot of friends talk to each other through Facebook messenger. They say it will be launched very soon (if not already in U.S).  Here is a video so you can get the idea!

6. Adding your Flag to your Profile Picture


COMING UP

This is already “here” actually and I did add my national flag to my profile picture:

BUT I have added in “Coming up” section of this article as I still hope that this “Adding your flag” feature will be more visible in the “Change profile picture” feature within Facebook. I feel it needs to. At the moment is only available if you access it from here: Profile pic

Some other features you can add to your profile are of course supporting a cause or supporting/showing you’re a fan of an upcoming event.

Like Easter for example!

Or Game of Thrones!


CONCLUSION

Some logic and fair updates in Facebook’s algorithm which I agree with, like the “Reactions weight” but some non-sense ones which I am not sure of, like the “video sound on” one, it might annoy people on the long run or the “messenger day” one, this latter one might not last long!


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