Check out our update on the newest evolution of Facebook – as it innovates to stay relevant to its vast userbase, and especially younger users (the prize-catch of all big-time marketers).
Facebook released a new iPhone app in the US earlier this week: https://www.facebook.com/paper
It is a new, cooler way to use the channel – I can only imagine that it has been released as a new app rather than an update to avoid a flood of complaints. Every time Facebook updates its newsfeed, timeline or whatever, there is ardent support for the former incarnation. I think they are trialing Paper and, in time, it will replace the existing newsfeed (at least on mobile and tablet).
The app includes your newsfeed but you can also select topics (headlines, sport, humour etc.). It looks and feels like Flipboard. Users can then browse between themed feeds, much like they can browse boards on Pinterest. If you have a US iTunes account then you can download the app and start using it now.
I love it – the UI/UX is awesome and it’s a great way to filter content. From a user perspective it is really cool and Facebook are smart in that it means people are more likely to stay within their platform to consume content (not just their own newsfeeds, but other curated feeds). Also, though I am sure it will change, Paper currently does not have ads which makes for a much more pleasant experience!
So what does Facebook’s latest reinvention mean for communications and marketing agencies?
Unlike other Facebook changes, the introduction of Paper will not have a huge impact immediately (even if it were available outside the US). However, it could make a major difference to how brands communicate via social in two key ways:
- It is yet another indicator of the shift to mobile consumption and the need to be aware how the content you create, whether it is pitching a newstory or creating a video, will ultimately be consumed by your audience.
- The curated feeds on Paper seem to be based on sharing/interaction etc. (though right now they are obviously US-centric) so driving redistribution becomes even more important (if that’s even possible) – if you don’t want to pay a fortune to get a lot of views, you no longer have to rely on your audience hearing about your content from a friend. Now, with curated feeds, popular and highly-shared content goes straight to users irrespective of who they know.
Content is truly taking centre stage on Paper and, through this latest reinvention, Facebook is transforming itself into a fully-fledged media company.
The key takeaway is that we need to tell stories by creating content which travel easily, across today’s prevalent communications devices. In a nutshell, communicators need to make mobile content that people want to share.