17th September 2021
This week Facebook announced that it is introducing new ways for businesses to deliver personalised experiences without resorting to targeted advertising. The introduction of these new features comes out of sweeping changes in the industry following Apple’s new privacy features that reduce the ability to track consumers.
The imminent release of iOS 15 which runs on iPhones, iPads, Apple Watch and software for Macs will include further restrictions beyond the ‘App Tracking Transparency’ feature implemented in iOS 14. The new OS will remove the ability for developers, publishers and advertisers to see IP addresses of Apple users using the Safari browser. Apple users will also be able hide their email addresses so marketers can’t see when they open an email.
In response to industry changes focused on user privacy and making personalisation and targeting largely opt-in, Facebook’s new products are aiming to make it easier for businesses to reach, advertise to and chat with customers across Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger and the main app more holistically and without ad targeting.
To make it easier to chat with customers, Facebook is launching new click-to-message advertising options which will let businesses engage with customers across all the messaging apps whether it is Messenger, Instagram Direct or WhatsApp. Facebook will default the chat app in the ads based on where the conversation is most likely to happen – i.e., the messaging platform used most by the individual user.
There will also be further integrations between Instagram and WhatsApp. Businesses will be able to add a WhatsApp click-to-chat button on their Instagram profiles, so that users can message them in one click and soon the option to create ads that click directly to WhatsApp from Instagram will be available. Many businesses use Instagram to market themselves or run shops but use WhatsApp to communicate with customers, so these updates are intended to make this easier.
Other updates being tested cover lead generation and customer acquisition, with a quote request feature on Messenger and paid and organic tools to help businesses qualify leads on Instagram.
Finally, there will be some updates to Facebook Business Suite with new email and messaging capabilities including the capacity to send re-marketing emails from Business Suite, a new File Manager tool and a feature that will let businesses test different versions of a post to see which is most effective.
In separate announcements this week, Facebook also said it is testing a new WhatsApp directory feature in Brazil, making it possible to search for businesses within the app for the first time. And in Australia and New Zealand, Instagram is testing a new ‘Map Search’ feature that enables users to discover businesses and locations of interest on the in-app map.
The latest updates from Facebook show it is looking for ways to more closely integrate its family of apps and is also searching for alternatives to help businesses deliver personalised experiences and be discovered by users in light of new privacy changes.