At today’s Facebook press event, Zuckerberg announced several changes coming to the site and two of them have big implications for marketers.
Groups and Pages no longer feel like confusing clones
I have heard many a marketer wonder whether or not they should start a group or a fan page as their hub for their Facebook presence. I’ve pointed many people to resources that explain the advantages of Pages over Groups, but they looked so dang similar that it often felt like splitting hairs. A while back Facebook announced that they were going to get rid of Groups, but then later changed their mind in favor of overhauling them. Well now they have.
Groups are now designed to be what their name implies, a group of your contacts that you want to have a more focused interaction with. Here’s a quick video explaining how the new Groups work.
Groups are now private by default. They don’t appear to offer custom tabs they way fan pages do. Groups offer the ability to have group chat sessions. They also offer collaboration features now like the ability to work on shared documents. Those are very distinctive features now from fan Pages that makes it clearer for brands to decide which type of space to use for public marketing and which to use for collaboration or narrow messaging.
Apps privacy dashboard update
Privacy and user trust are critical issues that surround Apps on Facebook. Today Facebook made an important step toward building more user trust in Apps by giving the user more control and visibility over Apps accessing their data. Users can now view the permissions they have granted to Apps in the same screen that lists their authorized Apps, which makes it easier to manage. They can also now revoke email access independently of deauthorizing the app. And a huge step in transparency, users can see what data Apps access about them and when. Here’s a video that explains it further:
These progressive moves give users more control over their data privacy. It should make people feel safer and more likely to grant permissions to apps for accessing their profile data. Obviously this is great news for users, but it’s also good for marketers because trust built on transparency should increase app adoption and fuel responsible use of profile data for serving customers.