Marketers say they are excited that Facebook’s “like” and “recommended” buttons have company with a new set of verbs, such as “watch,” “listen,” “read,” “hike,” etc. The social site’s users will soon be able to tap buttons for those verbs to describe their brand engagement with TV programs, music, books, and public places. Such Facebook user activities will appear in the social site’s ticker feature, which began surfacing yesterday as a complement to the news feed. Along with Facebook Places check-ins, the activities should create lightweight brand impressions in the way that “likes” and “recommended” have.
Data for the verbs will apparently be collected and reported as “likes” have, creating new engagement metrics. Ian Schafer, CEO of Deep Focus, said richer possibilities exist now for Facebook’s Sponsored Stories ads.
“Those Sponsored Stories are not just going to be about me liking Samsung,” he said. “They will be about me watching my favorite program on my Samsung device. They are going to be better stories. That’s important for Facebook in terms of revenue generation.”
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the changes during his keynote address at the annual f8 developer conference on Thursday. He highlighted the company’s partnership with digital music service provider Spotify. How Spotify will appear in the ticker is perhaps one of the niftiest aspects of the updated version of the open graph. For instance, when Facebook/Spotify users observe a friend listening to something on the music service, they can click and join the listening experience.
“We’re more than what we did recently,” Zuckerberg said.
Mark Renshaw, chief innovation officer for Leo Burnett, questioned what the new multimedia features on Facebook would mean to marketers. “Is advertising part of that media?” he asked. “So is branded entertainment more in-the-now? The industry needs a bit [more information].” Facebook advertisers will have to address more real-time conversation, Renshaw said. “In some cases, we’re already having trouble getting clients to think in semi-real-time; so this is going to be another challenge,” he said. “But it’s also going to be another opportunity.”
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