12 New Facebook Products and Feature to Expect soon

This is a Guest Blog by Anne Felicitas, from AdvertiseMint, a Facebook advertising agency. This post is the first of a four-part series by AdvertiseMint.

If you’re not already aware, Facebook is planning to roll new Facebook products, features and updates for its users. What’s in store for you? The items on this list include free captioning service, Live Audio, new tools for apps, among many others.

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Intrigued? Read the list below for the 12 new Facebook products you should expect very soon!

1. Mid-Roll Video Ads

Earlier this month, Facebook announced that it’s currently testing mid-roll video ads on videos that run for at least 90 seconds (videos below this minimum time requirement are ineligible). These mid-roll ads will only appear after viewers have watched at least 20 seconds of the video. Facebook will split the revenue with publishers, giving them 55% percent of the cut.

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The move to add mid-roll ads was likely provoked by complaints from publishers, publishers who were unhappy with the amount of revenue their expensive videos garnered – relatively insufficient. Inserting mid-roll ads to videos gives publishers a way to make money out of their videos.

Although no word has emerged on when these mid-roll ads will be officially rolled out to the public, it’s likely that it will happen sometime this year if the tests are successful.

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2. Facebook Captioning Service

Through the years, Facebook and its advertisers have noticed that videos perform better when they come with captions.

They found that videos with captions have a 12% average increase in watch time, an 18% increase in video completion rate, and a 10% decrease in cost-per-ten-second view—it’s not hard to imagine why. Since videos play automatically with sound off, videos with captions give users the ability to watch a video without having to press play for sound on. Additionally, users prefer playing videos with sound off as it gives them the ability to watch videos at any time in any setting.

To encourage publishers and advertisers to create more videos with captions, Facebook for English Captioning is launching a free professional captioning service. This service aims to further improve video’s performance.

3. Ad Blocking Options

Early in December, Facebook began testing an ad-option that allows Facebook users to block certain ads they deem insensitive or offensive. Currently, users can only block alcohol and parenting ads.

“This is an early test that will allow people to hide ad topics they prefer not to see,” a Facebook spokesperson told Business Insider. “We are starting with alcohol and parenting since those were the two most common topics that came up in our research.”

The new blocking tool is located on the updated version of the ad preferences menu, the place where users can choose which types of ads they want to see.

4. Live Audio

Facebook is currently testing Live Audio with three exciting features: low WiFi connectivity, real-time interaction, and screen-off audio.

  • Low WiFi connectivity – a feature that alerts the broadcaster of low internet signals and presents other options for connecting with audiences.
  • Real-time interaction – users can ask questions, leave reactions, or share the broadcast with friends during the live broadcast.
  • Screen-off audio – users with Android devices can play a live broadcast outside the app or with a locked phone too. Those with iOS devices can listen to the broadcast while browsing other parts of Facebook.

Facebook is currently testing Live Audio with a select few partners such as BBC World Service, LBC, Harper Collins, and authors Adam Grant and Brit Bennett.

5. Live Contributor Role for Pages

Before this new feature, only admins of Facebook fan and business pages were allowed to go live. However, with the new “Live Contributor” role, currently being rolled out to Facebook pages, admins have the power to choose which contributors can go live on their behalf.

6. Video Insights for Profiles

Video metrics for both, live and regular videos, posted by profiles with 5,000 or more followers are being rolled out by Facebook. These metrics will include the following insights:

  • Total minutes viewed
  • Total number of views
  • Total engagement

People will also be able to see insights for all the videos they post on their profile over 7, 30, and 60-day periods, including the total number of video posts, engagement, total views and minutes viewed, and the total number of profile followers.

7. Live Video Comment Pinning

The option to pin comments to the bottom of a live video is now available to broadcasters, allowing publishers to personalize their broadcast and highlight specific comments for their viewers.

8. Live Video Permalink for Pages

Facebook is rolling out a permalink that allows publishers to direct viewers to a live broadcast as it’s happening.  Once clicked, viewers will see the live video of a broadcast that is currently underway and a library of the page’s previous live and non-live video content.

9. Cross Posting for Previously Live Videos

Facebook is also rolling out a series of cross-posting features that help publishers reach audiences across different pages. After a publisher has finished a live broadcast, they can seamlessly post the video to multiple pages at the same time.

10. New Canvas Tools

Facebook updated and added new Canvas features for easy use and navigation. Here are the Facebook products and features you should expect:

  • Swipe-to-open
  • Store Locator
  • In-feed redesign

11. Tools for Apps

Advertisers are getting more tools for their apps. Here are the updates to watch out for:

  • Dynamic ads for app installs: Ads that drive mobile app installs. They target an audience more likely to install your app, including people who may have recently browsed your products.
  • App event optimization: A tool that increases success for businesses in mobile commerce and gaming.

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  • App re-marketing products: A tool that drives repeat actions from people who have already installed your app. It targets those who have already taken certain actions on your products.
  • View through attribution and impression data: Assigns credits to ads that people viewed but never clicked and explains how your ad campaigns impact incremental installs.

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12. Improved Dynamic Product Ads

Previously dynamic ads could only target users who have interacted with a brand’s app or website. Now, with the update that’s currently in the making, dynamic ads can target more than those who engaged with the website or app, including those who engaged with content on Facebook or browsed multiple websites looking for a similar product.

As seen with the soon-to-be-launched Live Audio, Mid-Roll Video Ads, and Free Captioning Services among many others, Facebook is undoubtedly entering the new year, strong.

Read second article in this series – Top 3 Capabilities of Facebook Ad Targeting

Are there any tips to maximise conversions with Facebook dynamic product ads?

Dynamic ads are a great way to engage your target audience. However, with a little customization, you can maximise conversions. Start by adding a compelling headline and description that reflects your brand. Next, customise your creativity with frames and prices. Here you can choose the font, change the layout of the price field and increase or decrease the opacity. Also, since dynamic product ads are less appealing, try and have a slideshow. This will give your products better visibility. Once you’ve done this, test the ad format that is working best for you. Ideally, single-image ads and carousel ads work the best. When you spruce up your ads in the above-mentioned ways, you will be able to drive better conversions.

Is mid-roll video advertising effective?

Mid-roll advertising is a cost-effective investment. Studies reveal that mid-roll ads enjoy a higher completion rate than pre-roll ads which users tend to skip like on YouTube. If at all a user makes it to a mid-roll ad, it means that they have enjoyed the content till then and are likely to watch the ad until they return to the video. Also, since mid-roll ads are just 10-15 seconds long, it doesn’t take up much of the user’s time. Instead of viewing mid-roll ads as an interruption, look at it as a chance to create fresh and engaging content for your audience.

Can Facebook’s video cross-posting feature help me drive more views?

Yes. If your company has multiple pages, you must consider Facebook’s cross-posting feature. It’s a great way to drive more views and give your content a boost. Cross-posting allows a large and diversified audience to view your content. Once you cross post a video to more than one Facebook page, you get to analyse consolidated views. Besides driving better traffic to your page, cross-posting also saves time.

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