2021 is bringing more changes to the social media advertising landscape than we’ve seen in a long time. Between redesigns, new apps, and a major shift around user data privacy, businesses have a lot to pay attention to over the coming year.
Here are some of the most pertinent changes and updates that affect advertisers on the largest social media platform.
User data privacy changes
Facebook has wrapped itself up in an ongoing conflict with Apple. As Apple emphasizes the importance of user’s data privacy, Facebook has growing concerns about how this limits advertisers’ ability to efficiently target people.
As Apple’s latest privacy-focused iPhone operating system rolls out to phones across the globe, Facebook is implementing changes to ads manager that prepare for limitations and delays on ad analytics and user data. The biggest thing Facebook is recommending advertisers do to prepare is create and prioritize 8 “events” that report how users interact with your website after clicking on your ad.
Read more about the ongoing tech giant battle in another one of our recent blogs.
The redesign of Facebook was loved by many, and not-so-loved by many more. Regardless, it’s here to stay. The primary change to note is that the design places more emphasis on Groups and Events – the “two biggest reasons people visit Facebook every day.”
Business manager settings have also shifted around as a part of the redesign. If you find yourself unable to find certain features, there is a way to get back to the old interface for your business page.
To do this, rather than clicking on your page from a shortcut on the main Facebook “feed” page, start in the business manager homepage, business.facebook.com. From here, you can select any of your pages in the center of the screen. Clicking the “Go To Page” button will bring you to the page interface you’re likely much more familiar with.
One thing I’ve found is that it is much easier to search and sort through your page’s posts in this interface. The redesign has removed the “posts” tab entirely from pages.
This frustration with the redesign is alleviated somewhat by the “creator studio” feature, which shows valuable data on your posts and allows you to boost posts through your content library. But for those who are familiar with promoting their page though an older interface, there are still options for you.
More text is allowed on ads
Facebook once penalized ads with higher amounts of image text in auctions and delivery. As of September 7, 2020, this has seemingly been changed. All warnings and labels that previously told advertisers that overusing text would limit their ad’s reach have been removed. It’s hard to say if this means the policy changed, or if Facebook simply no longer warns advertisers about this.
Hashtags on Facebook
While most creators will steer clear from adding hashtags to Facebook posts, the platform is implementing recommended tag listings within the post composer. In September of 2020, the test had only expanded to a specific audience, as not all users see the new listings. It could be a good way to broaden your conversation. Statistically, they do seem to be taking flight, but implementing them may or may not be worth the added effort.
New “Collab” app
Facebook has begun rolling out its latest TikTok competitor. While the Facebook-owned Instagram already has “Reels” to compete with the short-form video content app, Collab will focus on collaborative music making.
The standalone app recently came out of public beta testing and launched on the App store in December 2020. It is not fully clear yet how advertising will play into the service, and if the existing ads manager platform will adopt Collab ads.
With the meteoric success of TikTok, it’s worth paying attention to all competitors in 2021.
Image owner rights
According to the social media behemoth itself, about 3 billion people use Facebook’s platforms, including Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp. In other words, where Facebook goes, its other platforms like Instagram and WhatsApp are sure to follow.
Facebook announced in late 2020 that “certain partners” can claim ownership over their images, and then moderate their usage across Facebook’s platforms. As it stands, this implementation could affect re-posted content on Facebook and Instagram in various ways. The current options that an image owner has when it identifies unauthorized usage are:
– Let the image stay up
– Issue a take-down notice
– Or use a territorial block, making it invisible in copywritten countries
Facebook Business Suite
As Facebook continues to roll its main platform and Instagram together, as shown by the merging of messages on both apps, the company has introduced another platform for content creation and scheduling.
Business Suite helps users to:
Save time – Post to Facebook and Instagram at the same time and manage posts in one place to stay connected to both communities.
Stay up to date – Get all your Facebook and Instagram messages, notifications, and alerts in one place so you can stay up to date and respond to all your customers more easily.
View business results – See what is working with Facebook and Instagram insights and learn what your customers are looking for.
While the message management tool is the same as Pages Managers, there is also a user-friendly analytics integration, making it easier to get an in-depth look at post performance.
As this tool is rolled out, keep in mind that Facebook intends to make Business Suite “the main interface for businesses of all sizes who use Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp.”