Every second there are 20,000 people on Facebook. Every minute, there are 150,000 messages sent. Every 15 minutes, there are over 49 million posts made. And every month, there are over 1.55 billion active users.
With stats like these, it’s clear that social media’s biggest network isn’t dying—it’s not even declining. Sure, there’s talk of saturation, but the king of social media still commands attention.
There’s just one catch: Founded eleven years ago, Facebook is getting old (at least in terms of today’s social shelf life). What’s the company doing to color the greys? They’re evolving.
There’s no question: Zuckerberg has bold plans for the future of Facebook. He’s looking to the decade ahead; and he’s betting on three major technology initiatives:
- Artificial intelligence to help Facebook understand what matters most to its users
- Virtual reality (in the form of Oculus VR) to further the way in which we interact
- Drones to help bring the Internet to the 4 billion–plus humans who aren’t yet connected
But the fun doesn’t stop there. Here are a few more predictions about things to come…
It’s all about the algorithm.
Facebook’s Newsfeed algorithm – which determines whether or not your fans see the content you post – has changed multiple times in the past decade. As a content marketer, it’s important to understand how (and when) Facebook tweaks its algorithm to fight spam and deliver better content.
Brace yourself for reachapocalypse.
Competition on Facebook is fierce. New pages are added daily and more content is being created and shared than ever before. With more than 18 million businesses competing for space, Facebook has taken to limiting the number of posts that make it to the News Feed. How do you combat this? Social Times created an amazing infographic with tips on how to improve your organic reach on Facebook. Here’s a small sample:
Say hello to some serious segmentation.
Advertising on Facebook isn’t free. You have to pay to play if you want to deliver a targeted message to a specific segment. And because Facebook gets a steady stream of signups and status updates, they are able to easily test more ads with more targeted audiences. In a nutshell: Facebook captures mountains of data on its users. As their ability to analyze that data improves, so does their ability to offer better, more sophisticated targeting for its advertisers.
Prepare to shop ‘til you drop.
Facebook has made strides this past year to transform the News Feed into a storefront. The company now aims to test a Shopping section that will act as a single place for people to more easily discover, share, and purchase products. This is just the latest step Facebook has taken on their trip into the realm of retail. The company has already tested “buy” buttons – which allow users to buy products directly from their Facebook page. In the next few years, expect to see this functionality expand.
Ride the video wave.
Video is fast becoming the top way to share – and Facebook knows it. Their own video viewership is skyrocketing, garnering 8 billion average daily video views from 500 million users. It’s easy to see why the company is now testing everything from picture-in-picture viewing to dedicated video feeds to video ads. Plus, Facebook’s ability to serve up relevant content based on the piles of personal data they collect could give them an edge over YouTube in the coming years.
What’s the final word?
Facebook is angling to become the one and only place we spend our digital life. The company continues to thrive as an all-in-one communication tool. The more sophisticated it gets, the more likely its users stick around. And the more opportunities you’ll have as a marketer to make your presence known.