It’s been around since 2004, and it is one of the most recognizable brands in the world. Facebook is accountable for 510,000 comments, 293,000 status updates, and 136,000 photo uploads … every 60 seconds! (The Social Skinny). It is the most internationally used Social Media Platform available to date, and its statistics are showing year on year growth. It is the go-to personal communication and file sharing platform and has now been adopted by businesses to create an online marketplace that connects their products and services to their targeted audiences.
First, I’m going to talk about the elephant in the room – Facebook’s recent ‘scandal’ with Cambridge Analytica. Many people have jumped on the hate-wagon with the ‘#deletefacebook’ movement and have been spamming us with the ‘terror of Facebook using our private information’ for their own interests. We are sorry to say that no matter what platform you are using, if you put information on the internet, then your information runs the risk of getting into the hands of people that you did not expect it to. Facebook’s privacy and security teams are some of the most advanced in the technology industry, continuously improving their systems and tackling the internet ‘bad guys’. Unfortunately, as technology improves, these ‘bad guys’ also improve, meaning that we haven’t seen the last of the data breach scandals yet. We advise to only put information on the internet that you would not mind being shared with others – and to use common sense when you use third party apps (especially when they want access to your data!). If you are especially concerned, take a look at your privacy and security settings in Facebook’s help centre and follow their advice to make sure your profile is as air-tight as it can be!
While Facebook’s stocks have taken a dip since its Feb 1 peak – the aftermath of the Cambridge Analytica Scandal (and more importantly Mark Zuckerberg’s visit to Congress) has actually seen the stock rise again, and most analysts still predict it to be a stock worth purchasing (money.cnn.com). It remains to be seen if Facebook will join other outdated social media networks such as MySpace in the technological junk yard – but it (and Mark) have shown resilience and an ability to pivot – which tell us Facebook is going to be around for a long time yet.
So, if it is going to stick around – let’s talk about its users. As of Q4 of 2017 – there were over 2.13 billion monthly active Facebook users worldwide (Zephoria). If you didn’t think that was amazing enough, they also boast 1.15 billion mobile daily active users – in which (mobile) now accounts for 88% of advertising revenue. And these statistics are still all on the upward trend. In New Zealand, our Facebook use is highly active. 61% of Kiwi’s own a Facebook page, with 2.3 million accessing the site daily. Unsurprisingly, the 18-34-year olds dominate the user statistics (Statista 2018) with more male users than female. Outside of this 18-34-year-old bracket, users skew towards the female gender with 82% of new mothers now checking Facebook daily (Adhesion 2018).
So what kind of content do these people love? As we mentioned in the intro – Facebook is accountable for 510,000 comments, 293,000 status updates, and 136,000 photo uploads … every 60 SECONDS! (The Social Skinny). But these updates, comments and pictures aren’t everything. According to Buzzsumo, the most viral Facebook posts for 2017 were videos – with popular topics including practical hacks and food posts. Cute animals, quizzes and music videos also feature as huge viral successes. Facebook has seen a shift towards the priority of visibility of uploaded and live video content, and has begun to extend towards VR. While advertising has crept into our newsfeeds, content from our family and friends is still at the top of Facebook’s priorities, with an overhaul announced at the start of 2018 to ensure the end to these posts being drowned out – specifically by ‘public content’ (or unpaid posts by page-owners – Forbes).
Let us tell you more about ‘public content’. A business creates a Facebook page and (similar to a personal page) posts updates, pictures and even promotions – but the number of posts by these businesses started to exceed the posts by real people! As a result, ‘public content’ is not prioritized on the newsfeed, and businesses have begun to spend more of their advertising dollars on the site for reach and engagement. 75% of NZ businesses now actively use their Facebook pages, with around 60% actively using Facebook Advertising in some form (OMG Solutions NZ Social Media Survey). In 2016, the NZ online advertising spend actually overtook TV advertising (Adhesion 2018) and has continued to follow the growth trend as well. Hosting a business page is as easy as setting up a personal profile – and gives you a huge range of options for customization and promotions. After you have set up a basic business profile – check out www.likealyzer.com to rank your page and manage any recommended improvements to boost your rank. Many businesses Facebook pages fall down by not including a business story, not customizing their username, or not adding your business milestones.
At the beginning we spoke about Facebooks privacy and security – and a platform of this magnitude definitely has as many ‘don’t’s’ as they have ‘do’s’. Paid advertisements are all subject to a stringent list of terms and conditions and are all reviewed before being allowed on the newsfeed. In addition to being upheld to the community standards, advertisers must not engage in discriminatory practices, contain third-party infringements, provide misleading, false or controversial content, or even use bad grammar or profanity. There’s even a list of advertising topics buried in the ‘restricted’ section that include payday or cash advance loans, online pharmacies or supplements, alcohol, dating, gambling or lotteries, subscription or financial services, and even branded content.
It’s the tech start-up we all dream of. Founded in a dorm room, to eventually create an internet powerhouse – Facebook has even added 66 acquisitions to its portfolio since its inception, including What’sApp, Instagram and VR software Oculus Rift, investing over 23 billion dollars to do so (Techwyse). In a blog post from Mark Zuckerberg last year, he wrote: “Today, I want to focus on the most important question of all: are we building the world we all want? Our greatest opportunities are now global — like spreading prosperity and freedom, promoting peace and understanding, lifting people out of poverty, and accelerating science. Our greatest challenges also need global responses — like ending terrorism, fighting climate change, and preventing pandemics.”
So yes, Facebook has taken a recent hit in the favouritism department, but we just don’t see the end to this social monolith – and with goals like building a Global Community, we are rooting for Facebook to expand and reach new heights – taking us all with it!
To your success,
The Recipe Ltd.