January is not only a month for starting fresh, but also a month to set aside personal goals and meet them accordingly. While you may be busy setting aside some personal goals, here at Changelogs we are committing this month to help you further your business goals with new a slew of new information!
As some of you may know, Live streaming was the biggest trend in 2016. From viral videos like Chewbacca Mom to graphic coverage of shootouts, Facebook was at the forefront of live streaming. December, in particular, saw lots of announcements from the company that will change how live streaming takes place in 2017, so if you’re not incorporating it into your marketing mix, you are missing out!
This piece will be dedicated to covering the changes to Facebook Live amongst other exciting announcements that occurred in December. Let’s dive in!
Facebook bolsters Messenger with new Camera features
The Who: Facebook is no stranger to taking the best features of its competitor's apps and adding them to its standalone products. December saw Facebook taking on Snapchat (yet again) and popular app Houseparty with two new significant features that will make Messenger more competitive in 2017
1. Camera 2.0 + Filters: Messenger took a cue from Snapchat and introduced a plethora of new features for content creation within the app. When you open the camera, you will be able to customize your video and pictures with stickers, doodles, masks, and Snapchat-like filters.
In addition to these customizations, the text you enter can also be turned into a filter as well by clicking the “Smiley” button they have provided. Some of the text will be automatically recognized and converted into a stylized filter, but if it doesn’t, it will be added to a pack of “generic” filters instead.
2. Group Hangouts: With over 1 million daily active users on Houseparty, it was hard for facebook to ignore the app's popularity, especially since Messenger has video calling as well. To this extent, Facebook took Houseparty’s functionality and introduced it to Messenger.
You can now group call up to 50 people in a single chat, with only the first 6 invitees having the ability to show video as well. Unlike Houseparty, you have to invite people to a group instead of pushing notifications to them that you’re on.
The Why: The applications of these features may or may not seem intuitive at first, but it’s important to remember that Messenger is tied to Facebook.
For example, If you’re a brand or a musician, this is a great opportunity to engage with your followers and convert a select few into super fans by including them in content. If you already have a loyal following in a group, these new features are a great way to get your followers to create content or vice versa join you in an exclusive content creation process.
Here are sample strategies:
- Loyalty Text Filters: Create a unique text filter from a phrase connected to your brand or a name you’ve established for your followers. With a hashtag added to it and incentive for sharing on socials, you now have a pool of user-generated content to pull from for future campaigns
- Hangout Production Session: Invite a select few fans in a group to join you in an exclusive tour or mini Q&A. Because this is more personalized than a livestream, you have an opportunity to turn a few fans into hyper-engaged ones.
Snapchat gamifies its ad product by launching “Filter Games”
The Who: I’m a personal big fan of the innovation that Snapchat and its parent company, Snap, ship out to its main product. They’ve introduced the world to geofilters, geolenses, and even AR lenses that work on the world around you. With no limits on their innovation, their next step is to make their lenses not only something you apply to your face and take a picture but also a living, breathing environment you can interact with. This is where their new feature, “Filter Games”, comes in
The What: As the next iteration of their lenses ad product, Filter Games works like any other lens by capturing your face and having you interact with your environment. Games so far have allowed people to catch mac n’ cheese in their mouth, rearrange their face into a puzzle, and the latest, superimposing their face on an elf’s body running along a course.
Sound simple enough, right?
The Why: Behind this goofy product lies the data behind Snapchat gained from previous campaigns.For example, people have spent an average of 78 seconds playing an ad disguised as a game on Snapchat, built by RED Interactive Agency for Under Armour, where not only 19% of people shared the score with friends but also 20% took action on the ad.
Whether or not you choose to invest in your own Filter Games, taking advantage of the limited-time games and people’s competitive nature could prove useful for your brand. Suggested goals include using these filters in one of two ways: increase overall engagement with your followers (focusing on sharing primarily) OR to tie them into a mini-contest to convert some fans into superfans or gain new fans.
Here’s an example showing UK band NewHopeClub posting their score on Twitter and encouraging their followers to beat it:
The How: To learn more about “Filter Games”, be sure to read Social Media Week’s report
Facebook adds “Live 360” and “Live Audio” to its Live product
The Who: Facebook is getting aggressive with its marketing for Live as they aim for everyone to share their moments on the platform. Getting people interested in Live was a challenge in 2016, and in order to combat this, Facebook has to constantly innovate the product to make it accessible for consumers and content creators while keeping the videos fresh. To do so, they took a page from their competitors for their own product
The What: The two new Live products that came in December were Live 360 and Live Audio. Each serve a different purpose, so here’s the breakdown
1. Live 360: Similar to Youtube, Facebook is offering support for 360-degree live streams on the platform that all you to explore your environment in real time. They will eventually roll out to everyone, and yet to support 4k or spatial audio, but those will arrive in time.If you are looking to produce these types of video, make sure you have software that supports real-time video stitching and/or a 360 camera that has this feature.
Here are of recommended cameras according to TechCrunch:
- For HQ, professional broadcasts: Orah 4i, or a Freedom360 rig for GoPros coupled with VR software
- For LQ, candid broadcasts: Giroptic iO, Insta360 Nano, or the Ricoh Theta S
2. Live Audio: If you’re a fan or a creator of audiobooks or podcasts, you’ll like this feature. In the same of video, Live Audio will let people listen to while still giving people the functionality to ask questions, react to the audio and so on. Best feature? You can lock your phone screen and continue listening to the Live Audio without being interrupted.
This feature is currently available to select big name brands but should be available to all people and content creators within the year
The Why: If you’re struggling to find content to go live with, Live 360 and Live Audio will open up new doors for you. For 360 videos, you’d ideally want to capture what’s happening around you or immerse the viewer as though they are in your shoes. With audio, consider having a weekly mix or a podcast that relates to your brand to at least actively engage your audience.
Here are some sample strategies:
- Day on Tour: Artists can take their fans into a day within their shoes as they prepare for a show, from the moment they step into the green room until they take the stage.
- Choose Your Own Adventure: Similar to “Day On Tour”, the audience gets placed in your shoes where they are given the options to interact with certain items in their environment. For example, using instruments in a studio, exploring an artist’s house etc.
- Radio Podcast: Emulate a radio show by inviting guests or fans to phone in and talk about certain topics. Give the options for fans to submit their music for a chance to hear it played on the show as well
Facebook Mentions app adds slew of features for Live broadcasts
The Who: Verified brands on Facebook get exclusive guest list access to an app called Mentions, which of essentially facebook’s testing ground for new features. In its campaign to get everyone to share Live content, Facebook recently updated the app with features that make creating professional Live videos that much easier, for both content creators and social media managers.
The What: TechCrunch has a great breakdown of the features Mentions, which I will condense further below:
- Battery Level, Audio Level, and Connectivity: The following indicators will be available inside the UI of the live stream so you can see everything from how much battery you have left, how well the audio is being picked up, and if your signal is strong enough for high-quality broadcasts
- Brightness: Easily adjust the brightness of your screen to make live streaming in the dark much easier
- Category Tags, Comment Blocklists, and Mirroring: You now have several options to tinker your Livestream before it launches. First, to help people discover the stream better, add some category tags. Second, any comments that may be triggering can now be placed into a blocklist. And lastly, remove any confusion with scrambled logos or wardrobes by disabling mirroring.
- Replay Trimming: Had an awkward flub while setting your live stream? Replay trimming allows you to cut out the beginning and end portions of your broadcast for a more professional feel
- Prompts and Drafts: Social media managers rejoice! This feature will allow copy to be drafted ahead of time for live broadcasts. As an added bonus, alerts can be sent by teams to the broadcaster to remind them to on camera
The Why: After reading so much on Live in this article, the why portion is self-explanatory. To make your broadcasts more professional, use the features above to their fullest extent!
The How: TechCrunch goes into lengthy detail about the features here, so be sure to give them it a read if you need more explanation
Happy New Year and a big thank you for reading Changelogs! If you need any clarification or questions, feel free to reach out to meon Facebook or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.