Voices of inVentiv:
Head of Digital & Social Strategy
They say that when it comes to success, why reinvent the wheel?
Facebook has certainly taken this saying to heart and has been
testing Snapchat-like updates that allow users to share photos
and videos instantly with their friends.
Today Facebook announced it would begin rolling out a new suite
of Snapchat-like tools to all iOS and Android Facebook app users.
The update consists of three features:
- Facebook Camera—a Snapchat similar camera that will allow users to decorate their photos and videos with filters, masks (Facebook’s version of lenses) and other animated effects
- Facebook Stories—this feature will let users share multiple photos and videos as part of a visual collection that will be viewable for 24 hours. Stories will appear at the top of the News Feed (but not in your actual timeline)
- Direct—a dedicated space for messages exchanged via the new in-app camera. When a user takes a photo within Facebook Camera, they can then add it to their story and share it in their News Feed or privately message it to another user via Direct. Photos and videos shared on Direct will disappear after they’ve been viewed, however they can be replayed once.
What This Means for You
You may recognize these features as being very similar to changes
Facebook has already implemented on Instagram (and elsewhere),
but with more than 1.7 billion users, major changes to Facebook
functionality are always news and can have a large impact on
how we execute campaigns.
When creating Facebook content, we will now have a choice between
creating long-lasting text and link-based content for the timeline, or
short-lasting visual content for Stories. As audiences demand more
engagement and authenticity from brands, Stories gives us a new way
to put a face or a voice to a brand. Since Stories are not permanent
additions to the timeline, they offer a little more leeway to try out new
things without having to worry about overcrowding users’ News Feed,
losing likes or lowering engagement.
Stories have a more spontaneous and direct feel than timeline posts as
they are so visual. They feel more rooted in a specific time and place,
and can convey the sense to a user that he or she is right there with you.
Some examples of the types of Stories that brands could create to take
advantage of these features include:
- Behind-the-scenes content: Create a story recapping activities at an event (e.g., advocacy walks, medical meetings, or company activities) and update it with new images in real-time
- Longer narratives: Since multiple images can be strung together, it will become easier to tell more complex stories on Facebook
- Takeovers: Similar to an Instagram takeover, a brand could work with an influencer or HCP to help develop “first person” content for a day to post on the account’s behalf. This could provide an opportunity for HCPs or caregivers to contribute without constantly posting to the account’s feed and account owners would never have to relinquish control of the account as the all the content can be
While Facebook isn’t monetizing stories yet, we expect at some point
they’ll offer us the opportunity to advertise between stories or sponsor masks.
Chris is head of inVentiv Health Communications’ digital and
social strategy group where he shapes social and digital offerings
to provide clients with effective, valuable and compliant strategies
for the highly regulated healthcare industry. With more than 10 years
of experience exclusively in digital and social health, he serves as
a senior strategic counselor to clients adopting and executing
new channel strategies.