February 13, 2019
In Facebook’s Q4 2018 earnings report, CEO Mark Zuckerberg discussed the company’s fourth quarter accomplishments and challenges, as well as the goals for 2019. One goal is to create features that connect users to businesses, and, eight days after the call with investors, a Facebook Business announcement shows the company fulfilling its promise.
According to the announcement, Facebook is rolling out two capabilities: the ability for account managers to oversee Instagram messages through their page inboxes and the ability for pages to participate in Groups.
Instagram Direct Merges with Facebook Page Inbox
In the next few weeks, Facebook is rolling out Instagram Direct to page inboxes in Brazil and the United States. With the integration of Direct into page messaging, admins can manage conversations in one place, rather than switching between two different apps. The integration is available to both mobile and desktop devices for the application Pages Manager.
After Facebook obtained Instagram in 2012, the parent company’s app has insidiously amalgamated with Instagram, starting with small capabilities, like the ability to publish Stories and feed posts to both platforms simultaneously. With the departure of co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, further integration with Facebook will likely come without opposition.
While Facebook has been subject to criticism in the past two years over privacy and misinformation issues, Instagram’s reputation remains untarnished, with popularity among younger users growing. As Instagram overshadows Facebook, the latter company has more reason to align itself with the video- and photo-sharing service.
Pages Can Now Participate in Groups
In the upcoming weeks, Facebook is allowing pages to participate in groups. With this change, page users can join Facebook’s interest-focused communities and interact with members, rather than doing so from their personal accounts.
The change also helps businesses increase brand awareness by organically reaching relevant users that have never interacted with them before. Because groups are categorized by specific interests, businesses can join communities with members who are likely to be interested in them. In fact, some business owners who already used the new capability increased their follows and messages since participating in pages. One such business owner is Claire Lee of Venue Queen Ltd.
Still, group admins can reject access requests from pages they see as competitors who may steal their members.
More Changes to Come
In Facebook’s fourth quarter earnings call, Zuckerberg announced that the company is improving the connection between users and businesses. During the call, he also promised improvements to videos, Stories, and news content. The company has fulfilled one of its promises. Will it fulfill the rest?