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Facebook is, without a doubt, one of the major social media platforms today. New features are being regularly added to it. Looking at its recent changes, we would have an idea as to what 2016 holds for both consumers and businesses.
Over the past few years, Facebook has been building out of the user experience, giving consumers an access to a wide variety of content without having to leave the site.
As the network continues to build an ecosystem entirely separate from Google and the rest of the web, marketers might have to adopt their strategies to ensure that their content is still reaching its intended audience.
Facebook Search Marketing
Facebook recently introduce Search FYI, an updated search tool that personalizes results by adding current news stories and other popular posts to the results. For brands, this will mean creating content that strikes a balance between shareability and SEO optimization. Facebook will return popular stories where there is a lot of conversation, meaning content still needs to have a social, shareable side to stand a chance of ranking. Social media best practice will become a concern for marketers this 2016.
Advertisements via Messenger
Currently only available in the U.S., Business on Messenger allows brands to improve their customer service offering by having personal, real-time conversations. Shipping status and order confirmations can be easily delivered to consumers, in addition to any free-form question the consumer might have. The platform also allows push notifications, allowing a user to be notified when an item comes back in stock, for instance. This 2016, we will be seeing this feature roll out to other markets, and for its elements to be updated.
Virtual Assistance
Facebook recently introduced M, a virtual assistant designed to rival Siri, Cortana and Google Now. Unlike the three mentioned artificial intelligence, M uses a mix of AI and human brain power to deliver a service that can complete tasks for you, rather than simply finding information. Users can book tickets, get recommendations and buy products without having to leave Messenger. The software is still in an early stage and only accessible to a limited number of users. In the future, we could see Facebook relying on its own data to ascertain whether a brand is trustworthy or not – a concern that needs to be addressed as of late.
Content Publishing on Facebook
Instant Articles is another Facebook feature that attempts to keep people on site when accessing content. Publishers can create interactive articles on Facebook that load instantly, without users having to leave the app. The content is richer and faster than when viewed on a mobile browser, but this also raises issues for marketers. If articles are to be hosted directly on Facebook, accessing that content no longer leads the user to the publisher’s website.

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