As we near the end of 2018, we start to look ahead at what the next year might hold. When it comes to the world’s largest social network, Facebook is constantly evolving and introducing new features so keeping up to speed with what’s happening can be a minefield.

We’ve already covered some top tips on how to get the best from your social media strategy in a previous blog “SocialBee’s top tips for social media for 2019” but this time we’ll take a look at Facebook in particular. There are some major updates in the pipeline that can affect what works on Facebook for your business.

Here’s our lowdown on what’s in store for Facebook (and other apps owned by Facebook) next year, plus some features that have already been launched but you may not yet know about.

  1. Time for a snooze? At the beginning of 2018 Facebook announced that it wanted to make its content more relevant to its users, taking it back to the original concept of the platform to connect people. What it meant was that it would be prioritising timeline content for posts by family and friends, rather than businesses. Now they’ve rolled out the option to keyword snooze which allows you to temporarily hide posts by choosing keywords you don’t want to see. Don’t want a spoiler on your favourite TV programme? Keyword snooze it and nothing will come up in your timeline for the time period you’ve selected.
  2. Stories will be huge – Instagram stories are already one of the predominant features within Instagram and in 2019 they will be huge on Facebook too. At Facebook’s 2018 F8 conference, chief product officer Chris Cox revealed how Stories content will surpass News Feed sharing in 2019.
  3. Be sure to be live – or at least post lots of video content. People love to watch videos. By 2019, it is estimated that 80% of all internet traffic will be video content. Making the most of live streaming content will ensure you engage your audience and maximise interaction opportunities. Don’t miss our previous blog on how to get the best from live streaming so you don’t miss out.
  4. Augmented reality ads – have you seen that advert on TV where the little girl tries on a virtual dress at home before she purchases it online? Enter the world of augmented reality advertising. It’s the ability to place the product in your virtual reality world so you can see how it works for you before you buy it – and it’s coming to Facebook. You’ll be able to “try on” clothes, jewellery, sunglasses, makeup etc through the clever use of your Facebook camera.
  5. Augmented reality camera effects – this was never going to be too far away… soon you’ll be able to add those cute bunny ears or that sparkly halo to your Facebook images.
  6. Paid-for ads – more than ever, placing Facebook ads that reach your demographic audience will be key to reaching them. The 2018 algorithm change made organic reach that much more difficult so if you want to be seen you’ll need to start thinking about Facebook ads.
  7. Remarketing grows – have you noticed how products you’ve looked at on a particular website now seem to follow you around? For example, you’ve looked online for a pair of boots and then you see that website appearing on Facebook? This is called Facebook remarketing and it’s growing in 2019. Because Facebook has such a vast number of users, it’s the perfect platform for remarketing. Remarketing provides an opportunity for you to target traffic from your website on Facebook, particularly visitors that did not convert to a lead, sale, or an action such as signing up to your email list. It keeps your brand and product visible so it’s not forgotten.
  8. Keep up with image size changes – did you know that image sizes change each year for each social media platform? There are changes to image sizes, aspect ratios, and more… for example, Instagram works really well with a 1:1 image size, Twitter is 1024 x 512 and Facebook allows a variety of different sizes. Keeping up with it all is a challenge! There’s a great blog here that shows the ideal image size for each social media platform which acts as an excellent reference point.
  9. Watch out on WhatsApp – it was inevitable… a social media platform such as WhatsApp was bound to bow to the pressure of adding advertising to its platform, and it’s coming soon. Facebook, the owner of WhatsApp, announced that they will begin to embed paid-for content in the app’s Status feature from 2019.
  10. Watch this space… – we’ve seen the arena of voice commands taking the world by storm. If we’re not asking Alexa what the weather’s going to be like today, we might be asking Siri to call home. Facebook Messenger is looking at ways of introducing voice commands to dictate and send messages, initiate voice calls and create reminders. This is just being tested internally at present but could be on the horizon for 2019.