New video and shopping features on Facebook

    New video and shopping features on Facebook

    This week in social is really exciting for the video fans and shopping enthusiast. Or marketeers and brands in general. Facebook is slowly rolling out their new video feed, more about that below, and integrating Facebook shopping rich media mobile ads into their “Instant Articles”. Find out what’s in it for you!

    What’s up with this video feed?

    Essentially, it’s an entire Facebook wall for videos only – find what your friends are sharing, your favorite pages, brands; watch recommended videos or get back to the ones you’ve saved for later.

    facebook shopping - Videos section

    When watching a video, Facebook will soon show you a few other recommended videos in a row underneath (probably like it already happens with articles):

    Facebook shopping and videos

    One cool feature is multi-tasking – simply watch a video in a floating screen, place it anywhere you want, and keep on scrolling Facebook simultaneously, so that you never have to make a choice again. Look here:

    Watch while multitasking

    What about YouTube?

    It’s interesting to observe Facebook’s taking over the video platform giant, YouTube. Since last year, we’ve seen Facebook focusing more and more on video, adding video playlists to your business page, very similar to YouTube playlists; adding video ads (so-called pre-rolls); video insights data and spreading the news of monetizing ads.

    According to Socialbakers, already in 2014, native videos from Facebook outperformed YouTube, in terms of the amount of uploaded videos and engagement:

    facebook shopping graphFacebook Shopping Ads

    Second exciting news regards Facebook shopping features, which will enable you purchase products directly from Facebook, without leaving the platform. The new format is called Canvas and it’s been referred to as “Instant Ads” by TechCrunch, as the idea is similar to Facebook’s Instant Articles. If you scroll on your mobile, you might notice that some ads have some kind of “swipe” tab under the image, inviting you to swipe upwards. When you do so, a full screen page rich media ad will appear, taking over the entire screen and loading in one second. Clicking through will lead you to products that can be directly shoppable from Facebook.

    Instant Ads or Canvas ads are already visible on some of your timelines. I recently came across an ad from Burberry and Wendy’s:instant-ads-unfold

    You can swipe upwards to see the entire ad, which is really interactive. The point of Canvas is to introduce a fast load ads and not interrupt Facebook’s users by asking them to leave the social platform. This format will also include product carousels and catalogues.

    What about e-commerce?

    Staying within one (Facebook) experience is a benefit for the user but a hassle for all publishers and advertisers. How can a brand manage to drive people to their online store if it’s an extra step for the visitor? Introducing Instant Articles and Ads makes many advertisers dependant on Facebook, paying for the seamless experience of rich media ads available with just one swipe. Will this make general “clicks to website” campaigns less effective?

    What do you think? What opportunities and threats are there for your business? What is your opinion on “social media” when facing all those news? Join the discussion below!