Digital Dash: Facebook F8 2019 news & more

1. Facebook F8: let’s whiz through the top 10 announcements in 60 seconds

When Facebook’s annual F8 developer conference rolls around, you know you’re in for a few days of intense coverage about features, updates and future plans.

But to save you rifling through articles and listening to hour after hour of keynote speeches, I’ve condensed everything into one speedy update you can scan through in a minute or less.

Starting… now!

F8 theme
“Privacy Focused Future”: unsurprisingly after all the recent dramas, Facebook is putting privacy at the top of its priority list.

Top 10 F8 announcements

  1. Facebook – FB5: say bye bye to dark blue, Facebook has a whole new look. Both the app and the website are getting faster, fresher and cleaner.
  2. Facebook – Groups: The redesign will put “Groups at the heart” of the experience – as much as friends and family. It will be easier than ever to find and connect with Groups with the new Groups tab too.
  3. Facebook – Meet New Friends: an opt-in feature that makes it easier for users to meet people nearby. Currently in testing.
  4. Facebook – Events Tab: will put events in the spotlight. Definitely one for marketers to keep a close eye on.
  5. Instagram – Creator shopping: this is a big one. Creators can soon partner with brands using the new Checkout feature to make their posts shoppable.
  6. Instagram – Create Mode: a new setting within the camera giving users a creative way to share updates without photos or video (like the Facebook colour block status updates).
  7. Messenger – New App: faster and lighter than ever, the Messenger architecture is being re-built from the ground up. Rolling out later this year, it should also be complete with end-to-end encryption (like WhatsApp).
  8. Messenger – Lead Gen templates: these will drive customers to a simple Q&As allowing businesses to learn more. An appointment experience will also be added.
  9. Messenger – Desktop App: for both Windows and MacOX.
  10. WhatsApp – Business Catalogue: businesses will soon be able to showcase a whole selection of their products within WhatsApp for easy discovery.

Now, the announcements listed above aren’t a complete list. Actually, they are mainly from Day 1. There’s much more to hear about from F8, especially in the worlds of VR, AR, AI, responsible innovation and more – and you can listen to the full keynote speeches here and here. If you have a spare 3 hours, that is.


2. Report: omni-channel shoppers spend 15-30% more than single channel shoppers

Global payment company Ayden processed $159 billion in transactions in 2018 alone – making it an absolute data goldmine.

A new report from the company highlights some interesting spending trends.

One of the most eye-catching (albeit not too surprising) findings is that customers who shop with you across multiple channels (including in-store, online etc.) spend up to 30% more than customers who stick to one channel only.

It also states that POS (offline) spending via mobile wallet has increased by a massive 400% YoY.

Photos: Ayden

The report finishes off with another valuable insight: brand loyalty travels with your customers. So essentially, the more unified commerce becomes, the easier it is for people to shop with you even when they’re abroad.


3. Shopify announces Facebook dynamic ads and Snapchat story ads integration

Shopify has launched two new ad formats that will both be available natively within the platform: Facebook dynamic ads and Snapchat Story Ads.

Facebook dynamic ads join carousel ads on the platform, which were added last year. Google smart shopping campaigns are also available.

Shopify states:

“With Facebook’s dynamic ads, merchants can simply set their campaign goals and the right products will be surfaced to the right customers through Facebook’s platform, while syncing with Shopify for updated pricing and product availability.”

And for Snapchat story ads:

“… Merchants can curate their own branded content experience for their customers by installing the Snapchat Ads App. With the creation of a branded Tile in Snapchat’s Discover section, users will be able to unlock a collection of Snaps (anywhere between 3-20 Snaps) featuring that specific merchant’s products, and merchants can track sales resulting from that Story Ad with the Snap Pixel.”

Both of these make it easier for merchants to manage marketing alongside store, inventory and sales management.

More new features are coming in the near future.

While this sounds cool in principle, I would be really interested to know how it all looks Facebook-side, in Ads Manager. Any advanced advertisers will know how crucial campaign naming and organisation is for reporting – so I wonder how this will all be managed.

Perhaps it’s designed more to help businesses that maybe aren’t as experienced with the social media advertising side of things – but it would still be good to know.


4. Facebook Messenger: the complete compendium of 2019 stats

Thought I was done with Facebook-related news. Ha, never!

I promise to keep this one short and sweet though, don’t worry.

With all the F8 Messenger updates on the way, it won’t surprise you to hear that the platform is doing pretty well right now.

The graphic below highlights just how well, showing that over 20 billion messages are sent every month and that there are currently 40 million monthly active businesses.

Photo: Social Media Today


5. Did you know? 10% of Twitter users create 80% of Tweets (US adults)

Last week, we revealed Twitter’s Q1 2019 results. And there were some encouraging signs, such as an increase in mDAUs (monetisable daily active users) and YoY revenue.

This week brings more Twitter stats, this time courtesy of the Pew Research Centre.

The company conducted a “nationally representative” survey of 2,791 US adult Twitter users, and it revealed a pretty shocking stat…

80% of Tweets from US adults are created by the top 10% of users.

I’m sure this is true – to an extent – on every platform. We all know a proportion of users are silent stalkers (me included), and it’s usually the minority who are active a lot of the time.

But 80% by 10%? Wow. That is a lot. Or a little. Depending which way around you look at it.

But here’s my only issue: 2,791 isn’t a huge number of accounts to draw such a strong conclusion from.

Although it’s claimed to be a representative sample, and I’m sure it’s suggestive of what the real figure is, it’s always important to keep the sample size in mind.



Main image by Glen Carrie.