The New Facebook, or FB5, announced last year was a milestone in Facebook’s push towards improving privacy.
Facebook has gone through many changes over the years and has increasingly become a Group centric platform.
Zuckerberg in Time Magazine:
“In addition to the digital town square, we also need a digital equivalent of the living room that is just as built out as a platform.”
Unsurprisingly, then the new update has a much bigger focus on Groups and Events.
The new navigation bar also points towards what Facebook thinks is important for its users. Engadget says:
“The slither at the top of the page is a little taller than before and has five centrally-aligned icons, which represent Home, Watch, Marketplace, Groups and Gaming. The search bar, which used to dominate the top navigation, has been condensed and shuffled to the left with the new-but-still-blue Facebook icon.”
Their biggest update in 5 years. But have they improved privacy?
“. . . any version of the service that introduces no fundamental change to its privacy model feels unfinished. But as the company [Facebook] points out, an awful lot of groups are private or even secret. So its newfound effort to encourage people to interact more in groups rather than sharing with their own friends and family is, by itself, a subtle shift toward a less predominantly public Facebook.”
Facebook is still a pay-to-play platform.
Even if they have been focusing more on groups for a while now.
And you’re unlikely to get any organic engagement unless you invest in community management.
This change isn’t going to be a revolution for many marketers or publishers. But the fact that they’re embracing groups as a central feature of the platform is certainly a meaningful development.
Kelly Ehlers wrote in AdAge that brands need to take advantage of this shift in focus:
“I see this shift in gears as an opportunity for businesses to increase brand awareness and engagement. Personally, my company is using COVID-19 strategies of relationship building, meaningful creation and virtual experiences to harness the update’s huge potential.”