Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Facebook's latest redesign: Will it be better for brands?

True to Mark Zuckerberg’s entry in 2006 about how Facebook listened to feedback from its users and contributors, the company’s decision to revamp its news feed seems to be fueled by user complaints of boredom on the site and by pressure from advertisers that want more value for their money.

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The social networking site has gone far from being “brand new and still evolving” to something that is almost ubiquitous to people in the modern age. As the site attempts to change the way people find information on the Internet, it seems inevitable for its users to ask for more.

Previously, it launched its Graph Search feature, which allows people to “find more of what they’re looking for through their friends and connections.” The news feed redesign move, meanwhile, is aimed at making the site akin to “the best personalized newspaper in the world.”

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The customizable feed now allows users to see only the types of content that they want to see. They can focus on video feeds, music feeds, or photo feeds and expect to get the type of content that they favor from their friends. Meanwhile, advertisers can be happier with the following feed, which is dedicated to the posts of brands and people users are following, arranged chronologically. Facebook maintains that through this feed, people won’t be missing any posts now.

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With these changes, the social networking site has effectively responded to advertiser complaints that people aren’t seeing their important posts enough. In time when competitors are at the heels of Facebook, perhaps the change is enough to prevent advertisers from seeking another platform.

John Bohan is an Internet advertising expert who specializes in social marketing solutions. Find more material on effective social media use on

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The great equalizer: How social media brought back power to the people

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The advent of the Internet birthed a voice that gave unprecedented power to the people—a voice called social media.

A few years ago, the case differed. Companies and governments were untouchable, and the people had a lot to say but had no platform to express themselves easily or without legal repercussions. What little voice they had was quickly quashed and swept under, never to be heard again.

However, with the advent of the Internet, the people got back their voice in the form of social media, and even once-powerful corporations and governments are wary of this new power, as one wrong review or one bad press can instantly be read by billions of people, the precursor to potentially lost sales, revenue, and profit, or toppled governments.

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The best example would be the Arab Spring wherein oppressive governments in Egypt, Yemen, Tunisia, and Libya were toppled by a wave of demonstrations, protests, and uprisings sparked by the use of social media. Another example is that customers who purchased a faulty product and shunned by the company that made the product can now complain on Twitter or such online platforms, their effective and better chance at being heard.

Social media is quickly changing the information dissemination landscape and becoming the de facto way of how people communicate online. This is why Internet advertising experts, like John Bohan and Mateo Gutierrez, advise companies and governments to leverage social media for directly interacting with their customers and constituents, respectively.

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John Bohan heads Socialtyze, a firm that crafts smarter-media campaigns, manages thriving communities, and builds engaging applications. Visit its webpage to learn more.