Communicate attended a virtual press briefing to understand Facebook's plans for 2021.
It's pretty evident that a lot of the changes that happened this year as a result of the pandemic are here to stay. Consumers think and behave in an entirely new fashion and marketers are still figuring out how they can best reach them now. Yesterday, social media giant, Facebook unveiled a whole slot of new features and tools that aim to help marketers reach consumers more effectively.
Future of Work
Remote working has received mixed reviews from organizations around the world. Some are in favor of it while some are against it. Either way, it's here to stay. This means organizations have to figure out a long-term plan when it comes to working, in a way that benefits both the business operations of the organization as well as the employees. Tech like video and collaboration tools will continue to be incredibly important in making sure people can feel together when they’re apart from colleagues and leveling the playing field for those who can’t return to the office.
Facebook reported that they expect to see more companies looking at AR/VR to improve training and onboarding processes while people can’t be together in person. Because of this, the platform is pushing forward their work in AR and VR so it’s easier for people to collaborate from different locations. One example is Infinite Office, on Oculus Quest 2, which provides you with a virtual reality workspace so you can work without having a real-life computer in front of you.
Future of Shopping
The shopping experience witnessed a transformation like never before. Multiple reports claim consumers now prefer to shop online as opposed to offline, due to the shopping habits that were created during the lockdown. Jordanna Whayman, Commerce Product Marketing, EMEA Facebook explained how the platform plans to leverage this trend in order to help businesses.
Future of Creativity
Creativity through content is what drives brand value today. It's what helps retain your brand in the minds of the consumer. Caitlin Ryan, Global Head of Creative Shop, Facebook explained the three areas of focus and leverage to help drive impact for businesses through creativity.
Entertainment on Facebook
Streaming content has experienced a massive surge during the lockdown and now we can see more and more OTT players entering into this space. Facebook has listed out some trends it witnessed on the platform this year with regards to content and entertainment.
Live video has become a powerful tool in bringing creators, businesses, fans and communities closer together during lockdown with streams ranging from virtual concerts, to live zoo safaris, cooking demos, and even Easter Sunday Mass with the Pope. Many creators and publishers have incorporated a Live broadcasting strategy to stay connected with their communities. Facebook has seen rapid growth in Live streams across FB and Instagram, with more than 800M people watching a Live video everyday.
Creative industries have taken a no-holds-barred approach to innovation. Performers and production companies have acted quickly to turn studies into studios, bedrooms into back-stage-venues and sofas into stages - producing some of the most intimate and creative content we’ve ever witnessed on our platforms; from musicians experimenting with green screens to create the effect of a ‘gig’; to public figures using VR and AR to give fans truly immersive access to their worlds.
Supporting communities with a cause and doing social good has been at the heart of a large amount of public figure led content this year, with the industry committed to rallying around to help those in need. We have seen this take many forms; from globally hosted variety shows streamed exclusively online, to independent initiatives from public figures and creators, who have hosted charity concerts, or performances rooted in giving-back, like David Guetta, you see here - and who we’ll hear from a little bit later on.
Lastly - there has been a huge increase in the volume of high-quality, premium content on our platforms. The content ecosystem is flourishing. From individual creators like Gary Barlow, who sang a live daily duet during lockdown to global broadcasters like the BBC, Prosieben in Germany, M6 in France, or MBC in the Middle East. Facebook recently celebrated the milestone of 1.25 billion people visiting the FB Watch platform every month to watch videos for at least one-min. And with this, they've also seen record levels of engagement and retention. Watch has become a highly intentional destination and a go-to place to discover videos spanning a range of interests — from live events to TV Shows, to sport, and news.
New Product Experiences
On the innovation front, Facebook continues to invest in building new experiences and technologies that will meaningfully impact and delight consumers in new ways.
Bringing back Live With on FB: Facebook is bringing back Live With so you can add another person into your live video, no matter where they are in the world. Bring on a guest speaker, interview an expert, or perform with a friend.
Paid online events: Gives businesses, creators, educators, and media publishers the ability to earn money from online events on Facebook