Facebook, now called Meta, saw one of its busiest months in October, with November following as the second-busiest months.
In this in-depth and insightful article, we discuss some of Meta’s most important updates in the final quarter of 2022 (not including December as we couldn’t sit down to explore and test out all the improvements at length – plus, many of those features are not available yet for testing and accessible only to Meta staff).
Important Facebook updates in November 2022
New milestone for brand safety
In the last few years, Meta has been working hard to introduce new and improved brand safety features. This November, they secured accreditation from MRC (Media Rating Council) for achieving a new level of Brand Safety at the content level. The accreditation was awarded after independent auditors reviewed Meta’s brand safety policies, controls, and processes across their entire network.
Meta has reached a new milestone for brand safety as the accreditation now fully recognises their content monetisation policies, partner monetisation policies, as well as suitability control and associated content-level brand safety which are applied to In-Stream Video and Instant Articles – across mobile web, mobile app, and desktop.
Meta also announced that testing is currently underway for a content-based inventory filter which will be applied across both the Facebook and Instagram feed. They said the end goal is to consistently improve suitability solutions and brand safety, with the underlying hope of gaining MRC accreditation across all the new features as they are made available to the wider public.
Music in feed posts now available on Instagram
As of November 2022, you can now add as much as 90 seconds of music to your in-feed photo posts, not just videos. The announcement came with Instagram elaborating that music is a major component of expressing oneself on the social platform and that they are very excited to now let users add music to Feed photo posts, much like they can with Stories and Reels.
Better support for small businesses during the holiday season
Meta understands how useful social media is for businesses, especially small businesses, as they work hard to cope with the high-traffic, high-sales holiday season. As a result, they have come up with multiple ways to support small businesses throughout the holidays, which include:
- Try My Reel is a series of very straightforward Reel templates crafted by influencers solely for small businesses. These can be accessed via the Reels template library.
- #BuyBlackFriday, which Meta brought back again this year for the third time in a row, offers training and guidance at no cost to Black-owned businesses throughout the holiday season.
- The small business holiday guide has been put together to bring the best insights for small businesses from 2019, 2020, and 2021.
Important Facebook updates in October 2022
New API for IP reporting
Protecting IP (intellectual property) rights on social media is becoming a growing concern as creators are now making huge profits on social platforms – as a result, it’s all too common to see other users copying and sharing popular content without giving due credit – either on purpose or otherwise.
Meta has, therefore, announced a revamped IP Reporting API which is designed to protect a user’s original content across the entire Facebook and Instagram network. This means that original content creators can report content directly to Meta which they believe violates their IP rights in any way. The new API integrates easily with the existing Graph API which allows users to fill out IP rights violation report forms.
Meta has also improved the Brand Rights Protection feature, helping brands to protect their content through identifying impersonation, trademark violations, copyright infringement, and counterfeit products. Its usefulness also extends to searching for content which meets any of the above criteria and reports it accordingly along with a request to get it removed at the first possible opportunity. Brand Rights Protection can be accessed via the Business Manager.
In addition, NewBrand Rights Protection features are set to roll out very soon, which include:
- Allow lists let brands upload a list of accounts which have been permitted to share and/or promote their content.
- You can now search and report everything from profiles, accounts and posts to Groups and Pages across Facebook and Instagram.
- Automated recommendations allows Meta to automatically recommend commerce Pages, accounts, ads and listings which brands can review based on past reference images, reports and allow lists.
- Increased search functionality now includes the ability to search image-wise across more content types such as IDs, URLs, and posts.
- Automated takedowns for eligible brands allows brands (who have a strong reporting history) to get reported content automatically approved – naturally, Meta has put stringent audits in place to ensure that brands do not abuse the feature.
- The new insights dashboard shows the last 90 days of actions which users took after submitting repots through the Brands Right Protection feature.
Instagram Creator Marketplace – New brand collaboration features
Prior to October 2022, Instagram had started testing Creator Marketplace, and as Meta expands more access to its user base, new tools within the Creator Marketplace will be improving the overall collaboration experience for both creators and brands. The new brand collaboration features include:
- Creators can now inform brands of the unique opportunities they want to pursue.
- Brands can make specific projects discoverable by creators who meet the underlying criteria.
- Brands can now message more than one creator simultaneously via a prioritised partnership inbox in order to close deals quickly; additionally, they can send fixed offer projects so that creators can review and accept without delay.
- Creator portfolios allow creators to detail their story and explain to potential brands why they are a good fit for the partnership they are pursuing (includes the ability to share work done with previous partners).
- In a future update, creators can offer brand partners a unique code in order to run creator content as ads.
Updated Instagram ad surfaces
Meta recently rolled out new creative ad tools and surfaces so that brands can have more flexibility to reach their desired audiences. The improvements and updates include:
- Multi-advertiser ads powered by AI (artificial intelligence) which use machine learning to offer users engaging with ads in their feed with more relevant ads.
- AR (augmented reality) ads are now available through an open beta.
- Ads will now appear in both the profile feeds and Explore page, with the former under testing at the moment for non-teen public profiles; Instagram has plans to share the revenue from this channel with profile owners.
- Reels Ads are better optimised for music, including free and high-quality tracks which can be added to Carousel Ads on Reels
Soon-to-be-announced Facebook Group features
A number of new Group features will be unveiled soon to boost user engagement, including:
- Facebook event sharing through Instagram allows Group administrators to share Facebook Events from their Group with their Instagram account, thus, expanding their reach across both platforms.
- Reels in Groups allows Group members to easily upload and share Reels in a Facebook Group.
- The Admin Assist feature streamlines Group admin and moderation tasks such as how to deal with false information; the daily digest report details all the automated actions taken, for example.
- The new “socialiser” role for members recognises members who assist in welcoming new users to Group communities or those who actively encourage more participation.
- The Flagged by Facebook Override feature allows specific admin members in specific Groups to override a Flagged by Facebook status on Group posts, particularly content which has been flagged as harassment or bullying.
- Admins can now highlight top-contributing members and track engagement using a points system.
- Expanded Group profiles will allow for more detailed information in the “About” section, along with the “open to messaging” tag which users can easily add to their profiles.
Note that the last five features from the above list are currently in testing.
Instagram now testing multiple links within bio
During this write-up, we also noticed how Instagram has been testing an option where you can add several links to user bios. The test, however, isn’t available to the wider public yet, although some creators have already utilised it with generally positive feedback to report. If it is officially released, it would make it a lot easier for creators and brands to share links for different core content – rather than setting just one link and leaving it up to users to find what they need.
Important Facebook updates in September 2022
Exciting growth-focused features around video, messaging and AI
Meta announced a number of features which will offer advertisers new and exciting ways to reach their target audiences:
Advantage custom audience is a new targeting automation product which uses your Custom Audience preferences to target new and existing customers. It works remarkably the same way as Lookalike audiences, with the added advantage of going well beyond the typical 1, 5, or 10 percent ranges of Lookalike audiences. The delivery of ads to users within your Custom Audience is also prioritised through machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI).
Image carousel ads for Reels are currently in testing – horizontally scrollable ads which include 2-10 images, and displayed at the bottom of your Facebook Reels content.
Post-loop Reels ads are also in the testing phase – 4-10 second long skippable video ads which will pop up after a Reel has finished. Once the ad has fully played, the original Reel will continue playing.
There’s now going to be royalty-free audio for Reels ads – the goal is to make it simpler for advertisers to make Reels ads; Meta is going to roll out an entire collection of free sounds to be played during Carousel Ads on Reels. You’ll be able to manually select a song or let the app choose one for you automatically, based on the ad’s content.
AI will be a part of Messenger – brands will be able to run click-to-Messenger Ads which will only reach those who are most likely to buy from you via a dedicated communication channel with your brand.
A new lead generation ad format will funnel customers to either your form or Messenger, depending on which medium the user is most likely to interact with.
New ad placements and formats are now available on Instagram – ads will be available through Explore home, along with the profile feed which your users will see by visiting another account holder’s profile and tapping on their post.
Collaborative Ads will now have a local delivery options
Businesses in the restaurant and grocery store sector are always finding new ways to acquire local traffic. And, to help such businesses get the most ROI out of Meta advertising, Facebook will be rolling out an all new local delivery Collaborative Ads feature.
These ads will allow your local business to generate better awareness around your goods and let your audience order them through a local delivery service. The ads will only list products which are in stock and have active price tags. This will offer a faster and easier buying experience for your target user, offering a much more streamlined journey from discovery to purchase.
Facebook has had far too many exciting and noteworthy updates throughout 2022 and not just the last quarter. There’s too much going on behind the scenes which we simply wouldn’t be able to detail in a single article.
How will these updates impact your audience or the way you create posts or design your ads, for example? How will it impact your ROI? Our social media marketing and ad design team is always on hand to advise on the best strategies to help you make the most of Facebook as a powerful marketing tool.