Facebook announced two big Newsfeed changes this week that make it even more brand-friendly.
First – and most noticeably – of all, the new Reactions were introduced, taking your one-tap engagement with posts far beyond ‘likes’.
Second is Canvas, an “immersive” ad experience.
In addition to your usual thumbs up, you can now have the option to react with “love” “haha” “wow” “sad” “angry”.
Side note: Facebook choosing “haha” over “lol” continues a steady decline in lol’s fortunes.
Reactions tell you more about your audience
Facebook Reactions were rolled out in a few test countries months before the worldwide roll out. It’s not the “dislike” button that was so often requested, but does solve the same problem. Sometimes you want to acknowledge or engage with a post but don’t want to like it. Everybody understood that a like didn’t necessarily imply a positive response, making the terminology awkward.
So that little social anxiety is taken care of nicely.
While reactions is a very user-friendly update, it also offers a wealth of new data for brands.
The choices are taken from the most used stickers and emojis across Facebook.
If people are happy, sad or angry about your update, product, news or ad you’ll know about it.
Facebook can sell this information to brands so they do better on Facebook. And spend more to be seen on Facebook.
It’s a win for everybody, especially Facebook.
Canvas makes creative more creative
Canvas is Facebook’s latest ad format. It’s a big change to Newsfeed, enabling brands to take over a user’s full mobile screen with videos, still images, and a call to action. It can even use a tilt-to-view feature for images larger than the screen.
The ads will be built into the Facebook app, allowing them to load up to 10 times faster than standard mobile web.
The larger size and a brand new CMS allow brands to be more creative with fewer restrictions on format and contents.
All of this is excellent news for brands and Facebook, but quite what users will make of having their newsfeed literally taken over by giant ads remains to be seen.
However what Facebook has done much better than other platforms (coughTwittercough) is maintain the balance between user experience and brand revenue.
With these two latest additions Facebook will demonstrate whether it really can maintain the perfect balance.