Changes at Facebook: Paving the Way for the Future?
As you may have heard, Facebook recently reached a very important milestone – 1 billion active monthly users. On to 2 billion?
Hitting the billion-active-user mark is an accomplishment to say the least. However, some social media strategists have predicted that exponential growth could ultimately be the social networking site’s downfall if certain precautions are not taken to protect users from getting lost in the noise.
Facebook shares have fallen a little more than half since their Wall Street flotation in May. Much of the slide has been blamed on doubts over the efficiency of its advertising programs…and a successful progression into e-commerce could help increase their clout in this department.
The most recent change in their e-commerce efforts involves the launch of “Collections.” Introduced as a pilot this week, this feature could play a major role in Facebook’s efforts to increase its revenues outside web advertising. Similar to Pinterest, “Collections” allows users to not only “like” a picture posted by a brand, but also to “collect,” “want,” or “buy” those products shared through images on the social networking site.
Pottery Barn, Wayfair, Victoria’s Secret, Michael Kors, Neiman Marcus and Smith Optics are a few of the retailers Facebook is using to test “Collections.” Facebook has not yet revealed what share of sales it will receive for referrals.
Another change on the horizon is users’ ability to send birthday, holiday and other gifts. You know those reminders that pop up on your home page everytime one of your friends’ birthdays rolls around? Well, you will once again have the opportunity to send them a gift via Facebook by selecting an icon or link next to that person’s name.
The feature’s creation comes just a couple years after Facebook’s last attempt with gifts failed. The Facebook “Gift Shop” (virtual gift store) closed for good in August of 2010 due to an apparent lack of interest among users. The new and improved “Gifts” will allow you to purchase an actual product that will ship directly to your friend’s door.
Newsfeed Filtration: EdgeRank & ‘Fake Likes’
Of all changes, the recent tweak of EdgeRank (its key algorithm) is undoubtedly the most controversial. In fact, two prominent social media marketing executives (Jeff Doak, social platform director at Team Detroit, and Geoffrey Colon, vice president of digital influence at Ogilvy) have gone on the record to accuse Facebook of discreetly altering the newsfeed filtration system to decrease business pages’ fan counts and lower their level of engagement.
Mike Maghsoudi, PocketRocket’s co-founder, is backing up Facebook’s intentions. He said the decision to purge Facebook of its fake accounts and “likes” was made to allow users to see content they’d be most likely to interact with. Whatever the reason may be, the change has undeniably resulted in a tremendous decrease in the average page’s organic reach.
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