Cover photo by distel.com.
Panta rei, but Facebook is forever.
As one of the biggest social media marketing platforms, marketers have a lot to keep up with Facebook if they want to fully leverage the options it has to offer. We also cover all new Instagram updates and with all these new social media platforms keeping a step is more challenging than ever.
So, how is Facebook changing in 2021? What are some new Facebook updates and the latest features that are must-know for marketers?
If you’re looking for answers, we have them for you. Keep scrolling and find out what Zuckerberg’s team is launching every month.
And we promise we will keep the list update so feel free to come re-visit this post next month!
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List of Facebook updates and new features in 2021
Facebook updates April 2021
Facebook Sound Studio is ready to take over
Using advanced AI, Facebook’s working on an audio tool that transforms speech-to-text and has voice morphing. The audio creation tool will be available within the Facebook App – and you’ll have “a sound studio in your pocket.”
This advanced audio creation tool will allow you to record high-quality and crystal clear audio without those noisy background sounds. You can use music from Facebook’s Sound Collection to play in the background of your audio recording to set the tone and make it cooler. And the ever-growing collection of filters, voice, and sound effects will help you create such fun recordings.
There will be a new short-video format you can play with – Soundbites. They will capture your fun moments, jokes, thoughts, and many other things you can’t imagine yet. You can choose effects and filters from the wide audio creation tool’s pallet to make your Soundbites outstanding.
Additionally, there will be captions available for all these video and audio formats – so you can make your posts accessible to everyone.
Listen to podcasts on Facebook
Facebook cherishes all types and formats of content. Even though ephemerals took over the last years, yet millions of users are members in groups that include longer formats, like podcasts.
Until now, you could find a great podcast on Facebook, but you had to leave the app to listen to the episode. That’ll be over soon! In the following months, you’ll be able to listen to a podcast within the app and still can use it in the background.
Based on your interests, Facebook will help you find and will recommend podcasts you might like. At the same time, it will help podcast creators find and connect to new listeners. So, get your headphones on and be ready – this feature is right behind the corner!
The best thing is that all audio types are built to work together! You will be able to mix video, text, and audio and curate the content you make. For example, you can record a live conversation and turn it into a podcast so people can listen to it later on. But Facebook’s algorithm doesn’t stop here. So, in the future, all these options will get their own upgrades. Stay tuned.
Facebook and Messenger are getting Live Audio Rooms
Live Audio Rooms are another feature that the company is currently testing. Audio Rooms are intended to enforce engagement by letting people open discussions, change experiences, or talk about any of their interests. Also, you will be able to hang out in an Audio Room with your friends. That’s why Facebook is testing this feature out in both – Groups and Messenger.
Knowing that communities are not built just in private Groups, Facebook will also bring Audio Groups to famous figures. Why? So they can host conversations with their fans or other public figures. Imagine how much fun will everybody on the platform have!
This feature is announced for the upcoming summer.
New Facebook monetization options
What’s the purpose for marketers if they can’t earn from Facebook’s new features? That’s why the company announced that there would be monetization options at launch. When Live Audio Rooms are ready to use, your fans will be able to support you and other creators by giving Stars or donating to causes they care about.
When it comes to the Soundbites, an Audio Creator Fund will be available to support new audio creators. This will also help in receiving early feedback about the performance of the new product.
Later on, there will be other monetization models available. So, we’ll just have to wait for the magic to happen and make the most out of it.
Facebook updates March 2021
Facebook Helps Get People Vaccinated Against COVID-19
Facebook is starting a massive campaign for helping people all around the globe to get more information about vaccines against COVID-19.
As Zuckerberg says: “We’ve already connected over 2 billion people to authoritative COVID-19 information, and today as access to COVID-19 vaccines expands, we’re going even further and aiming to help bring 50 million people one step closer to getting vaccinated.”.
The company has already established measures:
- A tool to connect people to information about where and when to get a COVID-19 vaccine
- Expanding the COVID-19 Information Center to Instagram
- Expanding official WhatsApp chatbots on COVID-19 to get people registered for vaccinations
- Adding labels on posts about COVID-19 vaccines to show additional information from the World Health Organization
- Making real-time aggregate trends in COVID-19 vaccinations, intent to get vaccinated, and reasons for hesitancy available to public officials to inform equitable vaccine rollout
Keeping Facebook groups safe
Facebook takes care that people can safely discover and engage with Facebook groups and communities. This month, the company took its policies even further to diminish the spread of harmful content, hate speech, or misinformation.
When a group keeps breaking the rules, Facebook is taking it down permanently.
The new updates are available here and you can check how Facebook will ensure safe recommendations and reducing privileges to those who break the rules.
Earn revenue from all types of videos
What a beginning, right?
Facebook now offers more ways of monetization for creators and their focus is on video monetization. Now, you can earn from short-form videos. Previously this option was available only for videos over three minutes.
Another recent update is the monetization of Facebook stories. This feature is currently in beta version and the algorithm is in a testing phase. But we are confident that it’ll see the light of the day soon enough.
Content creators must still publish from a Facebook page (and from a private profile) with at least 10.000 followers and has to be compliant with the Partner Monetization Policies.
Expanding Facebook ads in live streaming
More room for ads!
Facebook is allowing creators to place ads in their live videos on their own. Before March, this option was available for invite-only. Now you have more options for your ad preferences and reaching the very best audience network.
In-stream ads are available for Facebook live video streams through Live Producer. To enable in-stream ads in your Live stream – check the in-stream ads tutorial.
Now, the only constraint is to have more than 60.000 live minutes in the past 60 days. You can check it and set your application through Creator Studio. Facebook admins will revise all the applications and provide an answer.
Getting more earnings with Stars on Live
Facebook Live offers another earning program – Facebook Stars. While the focus is on rewarding customer loyalty, Facebook has seen that Stars are helping to bond content creators with their communities. That’s why they released a new feature – earning with Stars and they’re investing $7M in it.
During Star-enabled live streams people will see an option to buy Stars and send them to their favorite creators to boost their visibility and add to their earnings.
In addition, when people send Stars everyone watching the video will see it.
You may wonder what the Stars experience is like for your audience. Here is a walkthrough:
- Live video viewers can tap the star icon next to comments and reactions to buy and send Stars.
- You earn 1 cent for every Star you receive. Fans typically buy and send stars in “packs.” For example, if someone sends you 100 stars, you’d receive $1.00.
Even though Stars were primarily intended to live videos, Facebook is testing a version for video-on-demand for both, short and long videos.
Another cool feature is that Facebook announced virtual gifts for viewers to send to content creators.
Prediction: The usage of Facebook live has increased by 26,8% in Q2 2020 and it’s expected to rise even more in 20211.
New partnership opportunities for gaming creators
Eligible gaming creators now have access to a full suite of monetization products to help them get great earnings. They just have to follow the minimum eligibility criteria and they can monitor the metrics and the progress they’re making.
This feature is currently available for game creators from Mexico, Great Britain, Australia, and Philipines.
Facebook updates February 2021
Better photo descriptions for visually impaired users
While scrolling on the news feed users can see different types of Facebook posts: blog posts, gifs, text, carousels, photos, and more. And most people can immediately catch what they find, but with the new AI tool, blind and visually impaired people can experience these posts as well.
Creators can now insert “alt text” into the photos and this redesign will use a synthetic voice to read the description out loud. The AI follows the status update and allows accessibility to “roll out” a brief description of the photo shown.
The AI tool has improved and now gives a more specific description of the photo instead of the general one from before. This offers a better experience for the BVI users no matter if they’re using desktop or mobile apps. Both iOs and Android support this feature. So, you don’t have to worry if you’re using Apple’s iPhone, iPad, Samsung, Huawei, or any other mobile device – you’ll have the experience.
Conversions API brings you closer to your customers
Since browser policies are changing, all big and small businesses find it more difficult to track events on websites via pixel. So, Conversions API is stepping on the scene, allowing you to share data directly from your server with Ads Manager.
Conversions API is a data exchanging tool that allows advertisers to target, optimize, and monitor Facebook campaigns. With the pixel losing effectiveness, this tool will establish a more reliable data exchange by sending events from the server directly to Facebook.
It will allow you to receive deeper insights with lower connectivity issues.
Profile Settings menu enriched with Account Status feature
A new feature on the social network is added – Account Status. You can find it in the Profile Settings menu, allowing you to see any restrictions that may be applied to your Facebook account, pages, or Facebook groups.
Just navigate to your Account Settings menu and you’ll see it with a little briefcase icon next to it.
It may be a tiny upgrade but it will allow users to gather information from one single place.
Oculus latest integration with Messenger
Facebook messenger keeps amazing me!
Over 3 billion users have downloaded the Facebook mobile version from Google Play or another app store. And they’re using it daily. Or better said – hourly.
Wanting to bring people closer to virtual reality, Facebook added a very cool feature to its Oculus VR headset. This means finding your friends easier in VR and meeting them in real-time.
You can play games, meet up, watch a performance together, or simply talk about butterflies – without removing your headset! It even has a voice-to-text feature!
Messaging has never been cooler, has it? ?
Topic exclusion controls to improve targeting
Facebook is running a project for testing out exclusion controls of several topics to improve the targeting.
The project is currently in a testing phase and it includes several advertisers to point out the difficulties they are facing about the appearance of their ads on the News Feed.
For instance, if the advertiser is a business owner of a kids toy company and wants to avoid violent content, they can choose “Crime” or “Tragedy”. That’s how they can protect their reputation and avoid shame.
Facebook updates January 2021
Facebook Pages new redesign
New year, new design.
Facebook started the year with a Pages experience redesign making it easier to create communities.
The novelties include:
- Redesigned layout
- Dedicated News Feed
- Easier navigation between a personal profile and business pages
- Actionable insights
- More relevant notifications
- Safety and integrity features
Access Your Information in a new shell
Over the last years the Access Your Information feature was working just fine. Now that Facebook had some time to learn how people use it, they upgraded it. Now you can easily find and understand your information.
Knowing the importance of (hyper)personalization, Facebook is now adding information on how can your data make your experience even better. Besides this, there is some news worth mentioning.
So, what’s new?
- Your Activity Across Facebook
- Friends and Followers
- Personal Information
- Logged Information
- Ads Information
- Apps and Websites Off of Facebook
- Security and Login Information
Above are listed the eight categories of novelties and each is broken into sub-categories to ensure easier navigation to the information you want to see.
To make it even easier, a search feature is added. You can now just type in what you want to see and bam – there it is.
Facebook is constantly doing updates on its platforms. 2021 is the year where we are seeing great new features around video monetization, creators tools, and marketing options that we haven’t seen before.
We hope you are excited as we are to share all the latest Facebook updates for you so feel free to signup for our weekly newsletter and never miss when Facebook announces new feature.