During Facebook’s annual F8 business conference, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced an upcoming redesign called FB5 that will place Group activity front and center. New versions of Facebook’s mobile and desktop apps will downplay users’ general newsfeeds and instead emphasize more relevant content from social Groups, close friends and other interests.
The changes are part of Zuckerberg’s overall vision to pivot Facebook away from a “town square” experience and towards a “private living room.” Included in this vision is a greater emphasis on short-form, ephemeral content.
Instagram will also receive its share of changes, including a new “Create Mode” and a more advanced version of Shopping.
Many of Facebook and Instagarm’s announcements have implications for influencer marketing. Here are our top 3 takeaways:
Facebook Gets a Facelift
The core of Facebook’s user experience has remained unchanged since its early days. However, FB5 will shake things up with a completely redesigned interface that places emphasis on Groups, which are currently used by 400 million people. As Zuckerberg himself put it, “Groups are the heart of your experience.”
Brands with business pages have had the ability to create private Groups since 2017. For example, Fitbit owns regional groups for several major cities around the country.
Will FB5 revitalize interest in brand-owned groups? And will a Group-centric Facebook experience lead to a new breed of online influencer/brand ambassador?
Instagram Create Mode
Instagram’s camera will receive a facelift, including a selection wheel to toggle between different modes and effects. One such mode is the new Create Mode, which simplifies the design process for features like quizzes, countdowns and stickers.
Instagram has been slowly building out its feature set since 2016, when it embraced vertical and live content with Instagram Stories. Although not as widely adopted as the AR filters on say, Snapchat, influencers have been putting Instagram’s many native effects and modes to good use to produce innovative, relevant content.
Create Mode will only bolster Instagram’s native creator-base, particularly in the production of ephemeral, short-form content – exactly the kind of content Facebook needs.
Instagram Shopping extended to creators
Instagram established itself as a major player in the eCommerce space with Checkout, which allows businesses to sell their products from A-Z, all natively within the app.
In an even bolder move, the company will offer that same functionality to top-tier content creators, including “public figures, creators, athletes, publishers, and artists.” Soon, select creators will be able to tag articles of clothing and let followers buy those items immediately. Influencers like Jake Paul make a substantial amount of their earnings from selling merchandise directly to fans, and helped pave the DTC model that many creators use today. Extending Shopping functionality to top talent, as well as brands, will further establish Instagram as an ecommerce hub as well as a dominant social platform.
It’s always exciting whenever a key platform announces major changes. Influencers are not known for their sluggishness, and will undoubtedly begin experimenting with all the new toys for Facebook and Instagram as soon as they are available.