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Top Facebook Updates You Need To Know In February 2021

Facebook is an always-updating, ever-progressing platform that businesses need to be keeping up with, even though it can be a tad exhausting.

But since Facebook is one of the most popular platforms for users to connect and learn about their local businesses, you can’t afford to miss any updates and changes. 

If you’re a local business owner or even an entrepreneurs yourself – staying updated on the latest updates helps you reach your consumers — and most importantly, your potential customers.

Many businesses do not realize that a Facebook Page is an essential destination for their current and potential customers.

If you’re not in the loop on the various updates, you’ll miss out on ways to improve your business social presence.

Understanding and adapting to the latest Facebook new update 2021 will improve brand awareness and educate people on what you’re offering.  

Latest Facebook updates are always in the progress, which is good as you can stay ahead of your competitors. Source: Forbes

In this article, we’ll help you walk through the latest Facebook update and changes that you need to know in 2021.

Some of the updates and changes will excite you, and some you won’t expect at all.

Either way, if you want to be prepared for what’s coming, you have to read the whole article until the end. 

Read also: 10 Tips You Should Do When Managing Your Facebook Page

Here are the Latest Facebook Updates in 2021 That You Should Know!

Latest Facebook Algorithms in 2021

Updates to the Facebook algorithm are an ordinary occurrence, with the platform adjusting how posts are seen and promoted by its users.

In other words, instead of showing every available Facebook post in consecutive order, the Facebook algorithm assesses every post, scores it, and then organizes it in descending sequence based on the interest and interaction made by each user. 

In other words, instead of showing every available Facebook post in consecutive order, the Facebook algorithm assesses every post, scores it, and then organizes it in descending sequence based on the interest and interaction made by each user. 

Use Facebook as the platform in which to build a community and a place where you’re able to add value and interest to your audience and customers. Source: TechCrunch

However, the announcement made by Mark Zuckerberg explained that the Facebook algorithm would focus on relevant interactions, making many marketers worry about their capability to reach their target audience in 2021.

This process occurs every time the user refreshes their news feed. 

There’s also an implicated issue about how Facebook algorithm update affects the ability of businesses to collaborate with influencers on Facebook.

The updates are customized to show people more content from family and friends instead of business posts.

The Facebook Algorithm is basically the machine learning that learns what a user sees on their newsfeed when they browse through the platform. Source: CamerDigitals

So technically, 2021 updates and changes are different from the previous updates made in 2020. 

In 2020, Facebook announced that the platform helped its users understand the algorithm by allowing them to control their data so the users could provide accurate detail to the algorithm.

However, this caused the users to be concerned about their privacy, and it seems that more relevant ads do not appear to be a significant trade-off. 

Here how’s the latest Facebook algorithm works in 2021

1.Facebook uses every post available in a user’s network, and it scores the post based on fixed ranking signals like types of post, recency of posting, and more. 
2.Next, Facebook would remove posts that a user is unlikely to engage with based on the user’s past behavior towards posts that appear in the news feed. Facebook will also depose content that users do not wish to see, for example, misleading information content or clickbait. 
3.After that, Facebook uses its robust neural network on the remaining posts to score them individually. For instance, User A has a 20 percent tendency to watch beauty tutorial videos from her Makeup Group, but at the same time, user A will click a heart reaction to a cute animal post 80 percent of the time. 
4.With user A’s engagement and interactions, Facebook will rank them in order of value.
5.Finally, Facebook arranges a nice cross-section of media types and sources so that the user can enjoy a variety of posts on the news feed. 

Facebook claims that the platform utilizes thousands of ranking signals. This could come from the speed of the user’s internet connection to how the users react when they see a post; is it by commenting on it or clicking on the like button. 

Improved Photo Descriptions For Visually Impaired Users

Facebook has made the platform much more pleasant to use for blind people and visually impaired users with the new launch of its AI tool.

This AI tool helps create audio photo descriptions that are simple enough for screen readers to read out with synthetic voice audio. 

Since images and video are not befitting for users with visual impairment, this tool provides satisfaction and an enjoyable experience for the visually impaired to watch videos and browse through photos.

And to manage this challenge, Facebook created the technology in 2016 known as Automatic Alternative Text (AAT).

This innovation uses object recognition to auto-generate descriptions of images on demand.

AAT was even recognized in 2018 by the Helen Keller Achievement Award of the American Foundation for the Blind. 

The AAT uses simple words for its default description rather than flowy and long sentences.

It’s not expressive, but it’s highly functional.

By doing this, the users can read and understand the description quickly.

And it provides itself to translations, so all the alt text descriptions are available in more than 45 different languages, making sure that AAT is beneficial to everyone worldwide. 

AAT uses simple words for its default description rather than a long and complicated sentence. Source: SlashGear

The latest reduplication of AAT represents multiple technological advances that enhance the image experiences for the users.

The number of concepts that the AAT can do to identify and recognize an image is ten times better than before, which describes an image that is posted without a description.

The description given is more in-depth, with the ability to identify landmarks, animals, objects, foods, and more. 

AAT is available for Facebook photos in News Feed, profiles and groups while on Instagram it’s available for photos in Profile, Feed and Explore. Source: Facebook Engineering

Exclusion Controls For Advertisers In Beta Testing

Facebook, together with other companies like Google, YouTube, and Twitter, have been working with marketers and agencies via a Global Alliance for Responsible Media (GARM) to create standards in advertising.

They have been working on measures that help consumers and advertisers stay within safety regulations.

This includes figuring out the potential risks of harmful content, standard procedures for reporting, independent oversight, and agreeing to develop tools that can provide better ad adjacency. 

Facebook is testing ‘topic exclusion’ controls that allow marketers to keep marketing from politics, crime and other controversial social issues. Source: AdvertiseMint

For the past years, advertisers have experienced difficulties with their ads appearing in the News Feed next to topics that are not related to the advertisements.

For example, an ad for healthy food seemed to be next to political crisis or war news due to the random algorithm.

To overcome this problem, Facebook is testing software that provides in-app advertisements targeted to the users based on the data on Facebook. 

The idea of “brand safety” is essential to any advertiser that wants to ensure its ads are not in proximity to irrelevant topics.

New Conversions API That Allows Businesses To Share Server Data With The Ads Manager

Privacy legislation and browser policies around cookies are changing the outcome; most companies may have issues tracking events on the site using the pixel.

To help businesses understand and adapt to the changes, Facebook has introduced a Conversion API that allows business owners to share data directly from the server using the Ads Manager. 

The new tool is developed to optimize, target, and calculate Facebook campaigns, as pixel loses some effectiveness.

Interestingly, the API will take data from your server and not your browser, giving a more definitive data connection. 

Facebook Conversion API also known as Facebook Server-Side API was designed to help businesses maintain data privacy while delivering customized ads experiences to customers and audiences. Source: AdEspresso

Companies and business owners will have total control over the shared data and how it is shared.

New Facebook feature also claims that the tool will likely have less potential to crash or facing any connectivity problems. 

Like Facebook pixel, Conversions API allows you to gather and share customer data to understand your campaign performance and run more effective and targeting ads.

You can think of Conversions API events as you would measure any custom pixel events. 

For example, conversions API events are as follows:

  • Using the exact ad optimization as pixel events like conversion optimizations and value optimization.
  • Following all the rules as the pixel, needing you to accept the Facebook Business Tool Terms, understand online behavioral ad (OBA) opt-out, and appear in the off-Facebook activity.
  • Appear on all identical restrictions as the pixel events, such as Ads Manager, Event Manager, and in the off-Facebook activity.

When Conversions API is applied back-to-back with the Facebook pixel, you’ll get better insights from real consumer interactions and not just from the web events. 

Sharing data through Conversions API is more accurate compared to other method in the mid-funnel and lower funnel . Source: Growth Marketing

Instagram Ads’ Recently Deleted Folder For Removed Content

Instagram is adding a “Recently Deleted” folder which allows users a chance to review their removed content before permanently deleting them. 

Every content sent to your Recently Deleted folder will be automatically removed after 30 days except for Stories which will stay in the folder for up to 24 hours from when it was published. 

If within those 30 days you wish to review what you have deleted, you can access the folder within the Settings option, select Account, and tap on the Recently Deleted folder. 

You can now add your deleted photo in “Recently Folder” in case you decided to keep it for later. Source: Twitter. 

The folder will include content from:

  • Videos and photos from your profile
  • Photos and videos from your IG story
  • IG stories from highlights and your story archives
  • Direct messages

To use this latest feature, make sure that your Instagram app is updated to the newest version. 

To use this new feature you need to update your Instagram app first. Source: Wondershare

Instagram Lets You Promote Your IGTV Through Stories

This exciting new update is such a revelation to many influencers and marketers worldwide.

With the latest updates, you can now let your followers notify that you’re uploading a video to IGTV by sending out a “Story” at the same time you upload your IGTV video. 

To do this, you can choose the option to send to “Stories” when uploading your video to IGTV.

What happens next is a screenshot of your IGTV video that is sent out to your Story.

Anyone who sees your story can easily tap on it and watch the full IGTV video.

That’s not all!

The best thing about sharing your IGTV video is that you can add hashtags to your Story to get more views and new followers. 

You can now promote your IGTV videos on Instagram Story so your followers won’t miss watching it. Source: 9to5Mac

It’s sort of like sharing a preview of your IGTV with your followers, and it doesn’t have to be technical or complicated.

You can create an image or animated images to let people know you have a new IGTV.

Or you could do a casual video letting your followers know why they should not miss watching your video. 

The update also allows your Story viewers to “swipe up” on your Insta Story to go directly to your IGTV video.

The “swipe-up” feature used to be only for Instagram accounts with more than 10,000 and more followers, but to promote IGTV, anyone can use it to encourage people to watch their IGTV videos. 

Promoting your IGTV videos on your Instagram Story is a free advertising as long as your content is interesting and engaging. Source: Influencer Marketing Hub

Messenger Integration Added To Oculus

While the Covid-19 has been hard for everyone, the worldwide lockdowns and mitigation efforts have expedited the usage of digital platforms for social connection, be it for working, shopping; basically in every function in any form. 

Therefore, Facebook has added a new Messenger feature to its Oculus VR headset.

You can connect with your friends via  Messenger and Oculus as  it’s easier to coordinate and play together in VR. Soure: TechCrunch

Anyone with a Quest or Quest 2 account can log-on to their Facebook account and have the option to chat with their friends via their Oculus devices. 

The Quest 2 is potentially a revelatory evolution for VR – a free-standing VR headset with updated control alternatives, simplified set-up, and innovative graphics abilities.

With the high-demand for VR, there seem to be more developers who are also interested in bringing this innovation to the next digital connection. 

With the latest Quest 2, you can quickly type your message in virtual reality, use the voice-to-text feature, or simply shoot-out pre-written phrases.

You could also host an Oculus Party using the integrated Messenger app so that you can meet your friends virtually in real-time.

This is the closest and safest mode of interaction you can enjoy with your friends wherever there are during this pandemic. 

VR allows you to connect with your friends and family wherever there in real-time. Source: Variety

New Text in Image Rule of <20% For Facebook Ads

According to the latest Facebook update, the platform removed its restrictions on ads that include more than 20 percent text on the main photo.

The latest Facebook new update is to create a better experience for both viewers and advertisers. 

Previously, all ads that appeared on Facebook, Instagram and the Audience Network were screened beforehand based on the amount of image text used in the ad.

Based on this information, advertisements with a higher percentage of image text may not be shown.

However, these exceptions may apply to specific ad images.

For example, exemptions apply to album covers, book covers, and product images.

As you can see, the Facebook regulations were crystal clear – ads with too much text in their images would not be approved. 

The latest Facebook update removed the 20 percent image text rule for ads. Source: Adrea Vahl

These restrictions have caused many advertisers and marketers significant headaches – requiring many to reformat or edit the images to align with Facebook’s rules. 

The new update removes any reach restriction for this.

Meaning all ads with more than 20 percent text in the main image will be displayed as usual and will reach the same audience as any other Facebook ad.

However, the platform confirmed that ad images with less than 20 percent text perform better during the launch update and suggest advertisers keep the text short, clear, and concise to deliver the message effectively. 

Facebook claims that images with less than 20 percent text perform better Source: SpiderWorking

Hashtag Usage On Facebook

Even though hashtags were introduced on Facebook in 2015, the platform has been moderately quiet regarding how exactly they work and what advertisers should do with Facebook hashtags in recent years.

But in case you’re wondering if hashtags still have a place in Facebook and whether they even work, the answer is “yes.”

In comparison between Twitter and Instagram hashtags, Facebook hashtags have a unique function, and businesses need to learn how to use them properly.

During Facebook updates in 2016, the platform has guidelines for hashtags and provides one of the best advertising tools for marketers. 

Using the relevant hashtags helps your target audience to find you. Source: MavSocial

Facebook feature that could deter the proper tracking of hashtags is the current privacy settings.

You can now select from several options ranging from letting anyone on or off Facebook see your content or set it to yourself.

You can make your posts hidden to specific people and everything in between.

Meanwhile, on Instagram, if you start to follow a hashtag, you can view content from anyone with a public profile that uses the specific hashtag, not just your followers. 

This has become an issue for Facebook because if 10000 users are using a tag, but only 5000 of them have set their profile to public, you’re altering the data, making something appear more or less popular. 

While using Facebook hashtags help people find you and make your post searchable, people search for specific topics or content, they start searching by using hashtags.

Therefore, using specific and relevant Facebook hashtags to your content means expanding your posts without paying for ads. 

It might be exciting to use all the trendy hashtags with the idea of expanding your reach to your target audiences, like what you’re doing on Twitter and Instagram.

But with Facebook, you need to be precise and selective.

Hence you should only use hashtags that are trending or popular amongst your target audiences specifically. 

Using the right hashtags allows you to use that information to create and curate the best content for your audience. Source: ReviveSocial

Imagery Ownership On Facebook & Instagram

More than 3 billion people use Facebook’s platform, including Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp.

And in 2020, Facebook had announced that “certain partners” can ask for ownership over their images and then moderate their usage across Facebook’s platforms.

So in the latest updates, a new tool called “Rights Manager” will allow photographers to claim their right over the popular images and identify when those images have been used without their consent and may request for a takedown. 

Rights Manager will automatically detect image ownership violations for claimed images across both Facebook and Instagram. Source: India TV News

As the statement mentioned above, you will need to request protection by claiming ownership for each image of the content by uploading a CSV file with all of the images’ metadata attached once this request is approved.

Facebook will put its image matching algorithm to use searching and flagging each time someone uses your pictures. 

From there, you’ll have access to a “fast and effective IP reporting system” that will allow you to issue takedown requests.

You will receive a notification to allow you to remove your picture from anywhere or even restrict the takedown by “territory,” which means the post will stay live.

But it can only be viewed in certain countries. 

Facebook is also phasing this out slowly to avoid any mishandling and making sure all appropriate “guardrails” are in order.

Some use cases can be pretty tricky, for example, memes, and the platform doesn’t want to get swamped with fake ownership claims and takedown requests before they know how to manage them efficiently.  

But, once all the wrinkles have been ironed out, this should allow photographers to keep an eye on their images and quickly address any unauthorized use of photos on both Facebook and Instagram. 

To use Rights Manager protection, you need to fill out a form, stating your rights to the content, then upload the video or image asset that you want protected. Source: Best Security Search

Facebook Business Suite

With Business Suite you can manage your Facebook page and Instagram account more efficiently. Source: Product Hunt

Facebook Business Suite allows you to manage all of your connected accounts throughout Facebook and Instagram in one place.

It provides various tools that make it easier to run and supervise your business presence for free. 

Ads Manager is your starting point for managing Facebook advertising, Instagram, Messenger or Audience Network. Source: Disruptive Advertising. 

Below are some of the functions of Facebook Business Suite that will help you manage your businesses in both Facebook and Instagram with ease:

It allows you to view your business at a glanceFrom the home screen, you can see an overview of your Facebook and Instagram accounts. You can track new updates, analyze recent posts and ads and study your business insights. You can also create a new post or schedule post and promote your business here. 
View your page activityYou will receive new notifications for your Facebook page and Instagram account here.
Use the inbox featureYou can check and read new messages and comments made from your Facebook page, messenger, and Instagram accounts. Here, you can create your personalized Automated Response to reply to or answer questions from your customers quickly.
Create posts and storiesYou can easily publish new stories or recent schedule posts.
Access Commerce ManagerIf your business has a Commerce Account, you can access it from the Business Suite using a desktop. You can create a new Commerce Account for your business if you don’t have one.
Create and manage adsYou can create new ads, Boost Post and also promote your page. You will be able to view the metrics for ads you have made.
View InsightsYou can see all information about your business’s performance, such as reaction, engagements, trends, and activity you have shared or details about your target audiences.
Access More ToolsOn the Business Suite of the desktop version, you’ll find other Facebook tools and settings you could utilize to manage your business presence in the More Tools section. This section includes other tools like Ads Manager, Business Settings, and Page Settings.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are a lot of updates and changes with the latest Facebook and new Instagram updates.

It’s exciting if you’re marketers as the updates continue to improve and open new opportunities for you to connect with your potential and current customers. 

With new tools like Facebook Suite you are able to expand your business by keeping up with the increased demand of your online presence and help you to save time by providing a centralized platform from which you can access and monitor your business’s progress. 

Meanwhile the Facebook algorithm will be a game-changer for advertisers.

It’s going to encourage businesses to provide their audiences with valuable content that will generate genuine interest. 

If you are not sure how these updates can help with your business, One Search Pro is here to guide you through the new Facebook updates for 2021 and beyond.

A smart with latest trend of marketing Facebook will help your business strive in this difficult time.

We will help you navigate, learn more about Facebook statistics and trends in Malaysia and make 2021 your best year for business.

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