The Future is Private – How F8 Affects Facebook & Messenger Apps

What is F8?

F8 is Facebook’s mostly annual conference that often announces new features. The conference started as an 8-hour hackathon. It has developed throughout the years into a 2-day event for developers from around the world to network, attend in-depth mini-sessions, and enjoy product demos. This year’s F8 was held April 30-May 1st in San Jose, California. 2019 marked Facebook’s 10th F8.


A Recap of The Keynote

Privacy. Privacy. And more privacy. Not only that – but a bold statement that “The future is private.”

Mark Zuckerberg acknowledged they don’t have the strongest reputation on privacy right now. The only way you’ve missed this drama is if you’ve been left in the quantum realm. If that’s you – go ahead and read Wired’s article which recaps the past year and a half.

Zuckerberg continued by saying they are “building a privacy focused platform…privacy gives us the freedom to be ourselves.” He then made certain to mention that his team is going to play a more “proactive role” in making sure all services and partners are using their tools for good.

He continued his theme of “The Future is Private” by listing the next chapter for their services. This vision is based on 6 principles:

  • Private interactions
  • Encryption
  • Reduced permanence
  • Safety
  • Interoperability
  • Secure data storage


What This Means for Facebook & Messenger


Zuckerberg has nicknamed this update “FB5.” And it’s more than an icon update (have you noticed the slight gradient to the blue?)

If the overall theme was “privacy,”  I’d say that the Facebook theme was “connection.” The app will now downplay the News Feed as the central point of connection. Instead, Facebook is pushing Events and Groups to center stage.

Communities and Groups now replace Friends as the central focus. You can now share to your groups the same way you share with friends and family. The Newsfeed still exists – and a feature I particularly like – will allow you to save your spot so you can pick up where you left off.

Here’s where some serious changes start happening: relationships. Facebook is now in the business of actively connecting people – be it dating relationships, friendships, gaming communities, or even job searches.

With Facebook dating you find matches based on things you have in common like shared groups and events. Your dating profile is separate from your personal profile.

This is currently live in: Colombia, Mexico, Thailand, Argentina, Canada, Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Laos, Brazil, Peru, Chile, Bolivia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Uruguay, Guyana, Suriname

End of Year: US

Facebook is also introducing Secret Crush. In this section, you create a private list of friends you might be interested in. And if your friend also puts you on their list, you match. If not, no one will know you even opted into Facebook Dating.

They are also adding new Business Tools which are considered to be “plug-and-play solutions.” The goal is to make it easier for businesses to drive in-store traffic, generate leads, and provide customer care. Two of these new tools include an appointment-booking function and a lead generation template built directly into Ads Manager.


One of the most exciting changes to Messenger is size and speed. It is going from 127 MB to under 30 MB with 1.3 second cold start time. Keeping with the privacy theme, the Messenger app will be end-to-end encrypted by default.

And we once again see the increased focus on connectivity. Messenger will allow you to call and message friends and family not just on Facebook but also Instagram and WhatsApp.

The goal is to make Messenger the place for your closest friends and family to keep in constant contact. You can even watch videos together directly inside the app.

They are also launching a brand new Messenger desktop app for both Windows and macOS.

How This Affects Your Marketing Strategies

If nothing else, hear this – Facebook believes they know what their 2.7 billion users want above all else – not necessarily shiny new objects, cheaper prices, or gimmicks!

They want to use their technology to gain meaningful human connection.

People don’t want to feel spammed by your ads. They want to feel connected to your product and brand.

Your customers want to feel certain that their information is secure. That your brand is trustworthy. And that you aren’t going to take advantage of them.

F8 2019 celebrated their global community and how technology can bring people together both personally and professionally.




Client Spotlight: West Tennessee State Fair

West Tennessee State Fair

The West Tennessee State Fair just concluded and we had the pleasure of helping them promote the Fair! We attacked promotions on a few fronts: video, photography, and social media.

Since we were not able to film at the last Fair, we recorded the first night of the Fair and released two videos on the following afternoon. Here they are:


We headed back on other nights to get additional photos and videos to use in the future. This will allow us to augment the videos from this year to use prior to the next Fair. Here are a few of those photos:



We also leveraged the things people love about the Fair as content for social media. We promoted each band that played and encouraged people to tell us what is their favorite Fair food. People love Fair food. We garnered 41 comments on this post.

Facebook’s Newsfeed Principles: Part 2

This is the second blog as we discuss Facebook News Feed Principles. If you missed the first one, start here.

This is a continued look at the Facebook News Feed Principles. These are drawn from the Facebook website and I am going to talk about them to help them make more sense for you!

Publisher Principle 2: People on Facebook Value Accurate, Authentic Content

In other words, people don’t want Fake News. But do they really?

I think this point might be more aspirational than reality. People really like whatever happens to align with their world view, it’s a phenomena called “Confirmation Bias.” “Confirmation Bias” is that our brain sees things in the world and makes special note of the things that line up with what we already thought. It notices and engages with things that confirm our biases.

Facebook seems to be focused on being sure people do not share content that is misleading or “click bait.” Click bait is a style of content that that has an intentionally misleading title in order to get people to click on the story. Once someone arrives at the page, the content is not related to the title that got them to click. The title is used as bait for the user.

But on a positive note, if we focus on making authentic content, I believe people will be more interested. Authentic content could include your real staff instead of models. Food actually served at your restaurant instead of stock photos. Make your brand the feature of these programs rather than stock photos.

If you are posting links or sending people to landing page, make sure people are seeing what they would expect. You know, treat others like you want to be treated, do not treat them like you are a marketer.

Facebook’s Newsfeed Principles: Part 1

Over the next couple of weeks we are going to look at the Facebook News Feed Principles. These are drawn from the Facebook website and I am going to talk about them to help them make more sense for you!

Principle 1: People on Facebook Value Content that’s meaningful and informative.

Facebook has to say it; but we should already know it. Facebook users (really all internet users) want content that is informative and meaningful. The reason they have to say this is people want to treat it like traditional advertising. Let’s just post our boring sale message on the Facebook page and expect people to interact. While that is easier, it’s not how the internet works.

Facebook can tell if people are interacting with your content. This is good and bad for folks. It is bad for people who do not work on creating good content for their pages. It is bad becuase if you do not put out good content, Facebook knows this and restricts your organic reach even further over time. It is good becuase if you are willing to invest in creating useful content, Facebook will help you distribute it better over time. It is also good because we know the rules of the game.

You can monitor your own success by reviewing your page’s insights. This will help you look to see how many people were interacting with your media on Facebook.

Within this principle, Facebook also suggests you try putting different types of content out. Using different types of content will help you engage different customers and re-engage old customers.

How can you create this content? Start by making a list of your customers’ reasons for coming to you or buying your product. Use this list to help generate ideas for content. Brainstorm a few different ways to help your customers over each of their pain points.

This is one of the reasons we write this blog! We want to help you get better and at the same time help you think, if I need help, these are the people to call.

Instagram Stories

Instagram just recently released a new feature: Stories.

This is a not so hidden strike to try and keep its users from SnapChat. Stories are a 24-hour photo or video series that lives outside of the main feed and instead lives on a feed at the top of your Instagram channel. This looks like multiple circles at the top of your instagram. These circles will be circled by a gradient if you have not watched them and will not if you have already watched it.

These stories can be made up of verticle video or pictures with text or drawing that you put on through the app. Most people are using the story function to generate the content but you can insert content you have taken else where by swiping down to reveal a menu to upload photos or video.

Once you have an image or video, you can swipe from the right to add a filter or use the text/drawing tools in the upper right-hand corner to add details.

After posting a story you can swipe up on it to see who has viewed it. This is only available while the story is live, when 24 hours have passed, it will disappear into the digital abyss. But you can also download the content if you want to save it for archival use.


Advantages for marketers:

Top priority: Becuase it shows up at the top of the feed, even if your last post has been buried by other accounts, there is a good chance you will be seen.

Creativity: Becuase of the short shelf life of content, you will need to be more creative with your content so that you can produce more. The drawing and text tools will also allow for more flexibility.

Information: This will allow you to collect some analytics on who watched what, including specific users. More data is almost always helpful for marketers.


Disappears: Having a story disappear can be disappointing when you spend so much time building content. But this is part of our short attention span culture. You may be able to counteract this by saving some content and reusing it.

Soon to be crowded: Though not very trafficked now, this real estate will likely become more and more trafficked in the days to come. It will be interesting to show how advertising works, which I am sure will be sooner or later.


Why and How: Captions on Facebook

Fact: 85% of video consumed on Facebook is done without sound. (Ref: DigiDay)

So does that mean we need to go all Charlie Chapman on people? Probably not, but if you could pull it off, that would be a lot of fun. Instead, we need to add captions. Captions when done properly, are not built into the video but an add-on through Facebook’s caption system. This provides captions that show when a video is silent and no captions when the sound is on.

Facebook says they see as much as a 12% increase in viewing time when videos include captions. This with the vast majority of people watching video without sound, this is something that cannot be ignored my marketers.

Additionally, captions help to make your video’s more accessible to audiences who may be hearing impaired. Though this is not an audience most of us think about, it is an important thing to consider when we are doing our marketing.

So how do you add captions? I have 2 ways.

  1. Through Facebook: Just recently Facebook introduced a captioning tool for videos being used as Ads. When creating an ad you will have the option to use automatically generated captions and modify them to make sense. Though the tech is impressive, it still comes out unclear. Review them and edit them. This is a time-consuming process, but the benefit is there.
  2. Manually. You can submit .SRT files for any video you create. Though simple, it is hard to find a step by step online. So here is a short one.
    1. Open a text editor. Meaning a program like notepad or textedit.
    2. Name the file with this structure: “filename.(twoletter languagecode)_(two letter country code).srt” That file name ought to be exactly the same as the file name of the video. Here is a link to language and country codes.
    3. Make sure that file is saving as a plain text file, no formatting is needed for this.
    4. The begin scripting out the video:
      Here is the format:
      (# of caption)
      (Time stamp, to time stamp)
      (Actual Caption)1

      00:00:02,000 –> 00:00:03,000
      Do you want to be successful?
      00:00:04,000 –> 00:00:05,450

      Being successful is not about talent

    5. Proceed to do this through the entire video. Here is an example of a complete one I did for a CO:mmunicate promotional video. (Click here for example .srt file.)
    6. When you upload your video to Facebook, look for the “Captions” option and add this file.
    7. Be sure to preview it in Facebook and make changes to the file and reupload as necessary. Sometimes it’s difficult to get the timing down without watching it live.
    8. Impress all your friends that your videos have captions!

Those are the steps to create captions for your next Facebook video! Good luck!

Ever wondered why you saw that ad?


Ever wonder why you saw that ad? Now you can know what big brother thinks you (are) like.

Ever wonder why that specific ad appeared on your Facebook timeline? It could be a very direct result of visiting a page. Amazon and other online retailers are good at this. If you visit their page and your computer also has a logged in Facebook account, that information is shared and you will most likely begin seeing ads for the products you looked at. It is called retargeting.

But most of the ads that you see are not retargeting, they are just targeting. Facebook sometimes also shows ads to you because you a friend of someone who is targeted. Facebook has a list of information about you that helps advertisers target you and users like you. Some of these things are based on your interests and facebook activity. Others are based on your age and demographics. If you are logged into Facebook, you can see this list of things for you here.

Take a few minutes and click around in there. You can even remove things that you feel are not accurate. I had a few oddball tags that I didn’t understand but for the most part it was pretty accurate!

And for the record Facebook, no I am not interested in the Alaska Aces.