Since Facebook was created in 2004 and publicly released in 2005, it has grown to 1.44 billion monthly active users with 1.25 billion of these on mobile devices alone which is the equivalent of 20,000 users accessing Facebook every second. These numbers make Facebook the biggest social network operating today and a valuable website not only for those who use it to communicate with friends and to share life events but also for marketers, whether they are promoting a product or service or even conducting market research.
Because of its growth, Facebook has continuously improved the experience it offers to its users both on desktop and mobile so they can access a variety of content without ever leaving the site. A significant amount of this time has been allocated into developing its cross platform mobile app to benefit 581 million users who access the platform through smartphones and tablets. In recent years, video content has grown significantly with 75% of users on the go accessing content as a source of entertainment with this percentage predicted to increase following the introduction of live video streaming across all user profiles to rival Twitter’s Periscope.
In order to personalise results on user timelines, Facebook has recently integrated similar algorithm technology used by Google into its platform, adding current news stories and popular posts for users to access.
Users aren’t the only group which Facebook is interested in. Facebook has benefitted businesses around the world and businesses are now able to communicate directly with their customers privately through Facebook Messenger, allowing them to have engaging, real time conversations which helps adds personal value to a business transaction. This also indicates that Facebook is attempting to combat businesses using Twitter direct messages with its customers. Additional advancements to the messaging facility include M, a virtual assistant which allows users to book tickets, buy products and get recommendations without ever leaving the service.
the one thing marketers thrive for from Facebook is user data.
In the coming years, Zachary Jarvis, Founder of Speechless Digital estimates that Facebook will increase the amount of content stored on the platform through services such as Instant Articles and Canvas. Instant articles is Facebook’s attempt of keeping users on the site whilst accessing content such as news stories or blog posts. However, publishers will need to carefully consider the value of publishing exclusive content externally to their website and whether this outweighs the loss of direct advertising revenue they could have benefitted from through ad sales on their website.
Facebook Marketing In 2016 Infographic
[Infographic: Speechless Digital]