(Source: www.inc.com)

There were 7 big updates on Facebook this week.

Let’s dive into them.

1. Facebook Centralizes its Crisis Response

Facebook announced its new feature called Crisis Response today.

The primary goal is to make it easy for people to find more information about recent crises and connect them with tools for support and recovery.

It combines three previously separate tools in Facebook’s arsenal – Safety Check, Community Help and Fundraisers – into one single place.

Community Help, which debuted in February and helps locals find and support disaster victims by providing needed assistance with things like water, supplies and shelter.

In June Fundraisers was added to Safety Check, allowing users to fundraise for victims.

More recently, Safety Check, which allows users to signal to friends and followers that they’re safe following a disaster, received its own dedicated button in the navigation menu.

The newest update puts all three together in Crisis Response, which will also include photos, videos and news stories about specific events.

2. Introducing Facebook Snooze

Bored of the same baby pictures or the one friend who famously overshares on Facebook?

Just hit Snooze.

Facebook is testing a new feature that will allow users to temporarily unfollow a friends post with a “snooze” button.

Previously, the only way to mute a friend’s posts were to unfollow or unfriend them completely. The new Snooze feature is an ideal fit for those who feel the unfriend is too drastic a measure.

To use Snooze, click on the three dots at the top right of the friend or page you want to (temporarily) silence, and choose “Unfollow or Snooze” from the dropdown menu.

3. Facebook Tests Group Video Chat

Facebook recently began testing a new video chat called Bonfire.

Though testing began as early as July, the feature only recently popped up in the Danish App Store.

The app allows up to eight friends in the conversation, and follows in Instagram and Snapchat’s footsteps by including the use of special effects and share pictures to Instagram, Facebook and Messenger.

According to TechCrunch, users don’t necessarily need to download the Bonfire app itself, and can instead join chats through Facebook Messenger.

To join a chat, users will be notified via Messenger, and can change formats showing a split screen with everyone in the chat or to solely the person speaking.

Though it’s clearly still in its early stages and available only in Denmark, users can invite people to join the chat from anywhere in the world.

4. Facebook Tests its Canvas Ads on Instagram

The Facebook-owned Instagram is experimenting with its own canvas ad format in its Stories feature.

Though it’s not the first time brands are able to advertise on the platform, it is the first adaptation of the full-screen, interactive format which has proven popular on Facebook.

Instagram writes “marketers are able to use the creative versatility of Canvas to tell compelling brand and product stories. This seamless extension of the full screen experience allows advertisers to capture the attention of customers with just a single ad.”

This format allow brands to incorporate videos, panoramic videos and carousels into their ads.

Additionally, Instagram notes that users can incorporate the Stories into campaigns across all Facebook platforms, including Facebook, Instagram and the Audience Network.

5. Facebook Tests Pre-Loaded Videos

Facebook is testing a new feature that will allow users to watch videos on the go – without taking up all their bandwidth.

The new Instant Video works while connected to wifi by downloading and caching videos directly to users’ phones. There, the video will be stored for future use.

Facebook recently confirmed to TechCrunch that its goal is to “remove data costs as a barrier to watching its videos.”

The video’s will be especially beneficial in areas where data plans are costly, allowing users to watch videos on the go without the bandwidth barrier.

For now, the feature is only available to a few select Android users. It’s unclear when Facebook will announce an official roll out.

6. Facebook Removes Instant Articles From Messenger

Speaking of Instant, it’s time to say goodbye to Instant Articles on Facebook’s Messenger app.

Instant Articles are fast, interactive publications that load 10x faster than regular web articles and allow a reading rate of 20% more on average.

But just 14 months after introducing the articles, Messenger will longer be displaying its version of the Article Link.

“As we continue to refine and improve Instant Articles — and in order to have the greatest impact on people and publishers — we’re focusing our investment in Instant Articles in the Facebook core app and are no longer offering Instant Articles in Messenger,” says a Facebook spokesperson.

The announcement comes after a lack of support from major publishers like the New York Times, Vice and Forbes.

Instant Articles will continue to be available through the main Facebook page.

7. Formal Rules Announced For Content on Facebook

Yesterday, Facebook announced formal rules on the kinds of content that can and cannot be monetized on the platform, including its Branded Content, Instant Articles and video Ad Breaks.

The kinds of content that will not be allowed includes real world tragedies, depictions of death, inflammatory and violent content.

There is certainly a lot going on at Facebook. The Snooze feature, Canvas Ads and pre-loaded videos are certainly topic for marketers to watch.

More Info: www.inc.com

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