Three new Facebook Features

Here are three new Facebook features, which I thought I would share with you.

1. Trending: Facebook has cottoned on that people like to post links to news stories on their timelines. In fact, according to a recent Ofcom report on News Consumption in the UK, 82% of people use Facebook as their daily news source. (And ‘news’ as in proper news, not what your friend had for lunch) Apparently Facebook will be prioritising news stories in their ever-changing algorithm…

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2. Pages to Watch: If you manage a Facebook page, there is a new feature in the Admin panel called ‘pages to watch’. You can add up to five of your competitor’s (or other brands you manage) pages to monitor how many ‘likes’ they get and then get tips on how to keep up* (*What happens if you have more likes than them?). Apparently this feature is being tested so may not be available yet to all page admins. Thanks to Dawn Newton for letting me know about this feature.

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3. Changing a Facebook page name: Now… I’ve saved the best for last as this has been a REAL headache in the past. If your charity/brand has had a rebrand and you need to change your Facebook page name, then take these steps:

  • On “edit profile” there is the option to change your name. It will ask the reason for the change
  • To validate the reason, Facebook will email you to say the request has been received and will be assessed but that documentation is required, by email, to confirm a name change (eg a scanned utility bill)
  • Following the documentation being sent, Facebook will email confirmation that it has been approved
  • You will then be able to log in and change the URL

Thanks to Jazmine Sandison for that one!

Some new and nifty social media features

I don’t know about you but I’ve spotted new features on a number of platforms recently. Have you? If not, never fear… here they are:

1. Pinterest Place boards – now you can pin places (buildings, restaurants, landmarks etc) on to a map board. It’s really easy to use and looks great. Here’s an example.

2. Instagram DMs –  you can now send a photo or video directly (and privately) to a friend on Instagram. Could this be a nifty way to build donor relations? Imagine getting a personalised Christmas card or fundraising ‘thank you’ from a charity you support?

3. Facebook donate button – you can donate to charities on Facebook now (US only for the moment but expect to see it here mid 2014). This could have huge implications for charities but of course a Facebook Ads grant would have been much better… Read this article for more info on the matter. And you can sign a petition here to encourage Facebook to set up a non-profit Ads grant, much like Google’s Adword grants.

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4. Google + custom URLs – now you can change your Google + page URL, which surely beats those random numbers right? You will need to meet three criteria to be eligible: You have to have a profile photo, at least 10 followers and an account which is over a month old. Google is rolling this out in stages but you will be informed when you are eligible to change your URL. Be warned… once you set your custom URL, you can’t change it (like Facebook Page names – and we all know how painful that is if you rebrand).

5. Twitter mobile gets a facelift – The Twitter mobile App has a new look. And it is sleek. ‘Connect’ is now called ‘notifications’ and ‘home’ is now called ‘timelines’. If you have different Twitter accounts you can now move more easily between the two timelines.

Have you spotted any others? Share them in the comments field.