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Back to the Future (of Facebook)

If you asked me a year ago what my favourite social platform was, I am confident that Facebook would not have been my answer. Popularity of platforms comes and goes – today Snapchat is all the rage, tomorrow Instagram has reasserted itself as leader of the pack.

For years, Facebook hasn’t been anywhere near the top of my list, even though I use it every single day. Even through the controversy Facebook is currently dealing with around its news content, and allegations of suppressing conservative news, today, I’m changing my tune.

The Facebook machine is ever-evolving, and having had a chance to chat with Jeremy Cain from Facebook Canada recently at the Canadian Marketing Association conference just sparked more of my interest. What was clear to me is that Facebook is listening to what users want. And even if not every experiment is successful, new apps and opportunities are changing the way business works.

Take Messenger for example. As a single user, my primary use of Messenger is responding to my mum when she sends me New Yorker articles I’ve already read. But for business, the opportunities seem endless. It’s a place where businesses can connect to customers directly to answer questions, build relationships and embody their brand. Practically, it’s even more interesting. Some companies are using Messenger to not only connect with customers, but as the platform to confirm orders and send shipping information. An interesting application considering that this kind of functionality has been the property of email for decades. 

Facebook Live isn’t a stand-alone app, but I’m equally intrigued by its applications for clients. Brands are embracing the more conversational, approachable live experience to bridge the gap between an organization and a real human. For me, Facebook is becoming the go-to place for new, interesting, immersive experiences and opportunities. And I’m liking it. There’s power in a one-platform model – analyzing behavior and trends could become more cohesive.

Do I think Facebook is taking over? No. But am I excited about what they’re bringing to the table? Absolutely. We need to be paying attention to what’s possible, and how it can help clients connect with the people who matter most to them.