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Facebookâ€™s Newest Changes: My Review
The importance of Facebook to the search marketing world is ever-growing, and therefore seems to always be relevant when it comes to newsworthy developments in the interactive marketing world.
And while there have been comments floating around about how people should not complain about the free service Facebook provides (the prevailing notion is, if you don't like it, don't use it), the simple fact is that Facebook is such a huge part of our lives, personal and professional, that not using it would be like not doing any advertising for a new business. With the recent lackluster integration of video chatting, failure of the Facebook's deals platform and the negative responses to the social network's new layouts (pre-F8 conference), Facebook was very much in need of a home-run. From what I understand, many believe these new changes are just that: the timeline, gestures, media integration and more. Change is always scary, and I think when timeline goes mainstream, many will run from it and others will cling to it. But eventually, everyone will come back to Facebook, because these new profiles really have changed the face of social networking - for good. Well, Facebook capitalizes on this fact, organizing users' history into years, and keeping it all up front so they can access the past at any time. I've been waiting for Facebook to step up its game and show it doesn't need to mimic Google + to maintain its giant user base and be the best. To put it simply, the Facebook team fooled us all into thinking they were struggling to keep up with the newer and possibly better social network, while really they were cooking up something revolutionary, a game-changer that could mean Google's nearly 50-million user strong social network remains a small pain-in-the-rear rather than becomes a true, sizable rival. Amie Facebook's Newest Changes: My Review Now, if you look at my Facebook profile alongside my Google + profile, you can see the stark difference between the two. Facebook's interface is multi-faceted, busy and packed full of different types of updates, while my Google + profile is simple, clean and plain (given, I use Facebook much more often, but you get my point). The thing that bothers me about this new set-up, though, is that the real-time updates made it over to the new lay-out. As if having a record of my every move on Facebook documented on my profile isn't enough of a reminder that "big brother Mark" is watching my every move, these updates ensure that I remember that he is in fact watching all my friends' moves too - and he's doing so all the time. Now, some might argue that Twitter is basically a form of these real-time updates in 140-characters or less, but at least on Twitter people have a choice. They can choose to update you on who they are friends with now, what they're commenting on other peoples' photos, and what they like about another friend's status. On Facebook, I have no choice but to be updated with every sleazy move made by that guy I met 5 years ago every time my eyes wander over to the right side of my screen. Also sharable are news and videos; in fact, many news sites will be able to create versions of themselves within Facebook, ensuring that news will ultimately trend in a more social direction. The WSJ is making waves in the social networking space with a new Facebook app to supplement its page (note: when I went to "Like" the WSJ page, Facebook asked me to write a recommendation for my friends. I haven't seen this before, but that could just be me. Either way - we all know that recommendations are a surefire way to spread popularity, as a user is more likely to do something or look at something if a friend recommends it, so I see this becoming a regular phenomenon on Facebook). This app is called the WSJ Social, and it "filters Journal content through the so-called social graph to yield a news product that lives entirely within the walls of Facebook," according to an article by Forbes.com entitled, "WSJ Social, For A World Where Facebook is the New Internet" by Jeff Bercovici. This is just one-part of Facebook's new media-sharing initiative. With print media slowly becoming obsolete, news outlets now have a way to maintain their relevance to millions of people: social networking. How This Changes How Businesses Use Facebook While what changes (if any) to Facebook will affect businesses remains unclear, you can be sure that the social media platform's team is doing everything it can to ensure that Facebook pages remain a vital part of internet marketing. This week, Facebook begins its "small business education program," according to AdAge Digital. Facebook will show small businesses what they had in mind when they created pages, specifically how to best target customers through the social network. The article mentions the following striking statistic: "According to an eMarketer report, 44% of small and medium sized businesses used social media as a marketing tool in August, and 59% spent less than $100 on social-media marketing. To encourage more use of Facebook as a marketing platform as well as to make those who already do use it even more successful, Facebook will be partnering with the US Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Independent Business to distribute helpful materials like webinars and case studies to businesses looking to optimize their pages for better marketing. Further, members of the Facebook team will be taking their helpful show on the road. Also according to the AdAge article, "9.2 million small businesses in the US have pages on Facebook, but only 3.2 million of those pages have active engagement. Though back in the summer, Facebook released a page with tips for optimizing Facebook pages for business, many companies still struggle with how to build "likes" and properly engage fans. The important point that Facebook will likely address is that more companies, especially the smaller ones, cannot stop working at their Facebook pages the minute they have more than their targeted number of likes. These businesses need to be interacting with their audiences, providing them with unique content, and remaining relevant in an ever-changing space. Summing Up All in all, I have to say that Facebook's profile overhaul is for the better. While on the one hand, the changes will be difficult to get used to, on the other they differentiate Facebook from Google + in an incredibly engaging way. They also promote content-sharing in a way that makes Facebook a one-stop shop for all things news, music and video related.