• Follow us

Social Media

For Brands the Future Is Facebook

In his opening Keynote at F8 2019, Mark Zuckerberg made this statement:

"Today, we are going to talk about building a privacy-focused social platform. … For a lot of us, the first superpower that the Internet gave us was the ability to connect with the whole world at once. It allowed emerging creators and entrepreneurs to find global audiences … . But as our world has expanded, we face a new challenge. We all need to find our place in this much bigger world … . It's easier to feel like you belong when you are part of smaller communities amongst your closest friends. So, it's no surprise that the fastest ways that we are all communicating online are private messages in small groups and in stories. So, that's why I believe that the future is private." While this vision includes Facebook's much-anticipated answers to users' concerns in terms of privacy (which are beyond the scope of this article), it also raises new questions for brands and businesses relying on the Facebook ecosystem to generate awareness, drive sales, and provide support to their customers.

Interestingly, connecting the dots between all the announcements made at Facebook's 2019 developers conference draws a bright picture of what the future looks like for brands, small e-commerce stores, and new businesses using the Facebook family of apps. Spoiler: This includes a whole new world of opportunities that may lead to some potential new challenges in the long term, and reflects a broader trend of vertical integration happening across all major platforms.

Without further ado, let's dive in.

Facebook's Future: Stories, Groups, Private Messaging, Commerce

Stories: As I write these lines, there are more than 1 billion stories shared every day across the Facebook family of apps, namely Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp (where a Story is called a "Status"), with 56 percent of people reporting that they use Stories on three or more platforms at least once a week.

It's no wonder Facebook believes this format is here to stay and could have a long-term impact potentially as significant as -- if not more than -- the News Feed.

For brands, Stories provide a unique opportunity to inspire audiences to take gesture-based call to actions (swipe up) and trigger direct-response outcomes, thanks to a full-screen, distraction-free and immersive format, which is unparalleled on mobile.

Given that one in two people surveyed said they have visited a website to buy a product or service as a result of seeing it in Stories, the famous vertical, ephemeral format opens up virgin territories for online brands and e-commerce businesses.

Groups: With the upcoming release of FB5, Facebook is introducing the biggest evolution of its website and app in the past five years, with the ambition of making "communities as central as friends" by placing Groups at the center of the experience.

This will allow brands and businesses to join and engage with interest-based communities through content and events, thus interacting more intimately with the 400 million people who are currently members of meaningful Facebook Groups.

In an era when authenticity is more valuable than ever, this evolution provides a unique opportunity for organizations to transcend their traditional transactional role and stand out as experts, leading with purpose.

Private Messaging: During the Keynote on day one of F8 2019, Asha Sharma, who leads the Messenger product team, announced the upcoming interoperability of Facebook Messenger, Instagram Direct and WhatsApp, making it seamless for all users to communicate with family, friends -- and ultimately businesses -- across all three platforms.

With more than 100 billion messages sent across the Facebook family of apps every day, and more than 20 billion messages sent through Messenger between people and businesses every month, the growth potential for online brands and e-commerce businesses to expand the reach of their private customer interactions is huge.

With new appointment booking being made available through the API, along with lead generation templates coming to Facebook Ads, will come new ways to drive customer acquisition through Messenger. Meanwhile, the WhatsApp Business app aims to help small businesses better communicate with their customers and increase sales with exciting new features.

Commerce: There is no question that the Facebook ecosystem is transitioning from a place where sales originate to a platform where transactions actually happen.

Through Marketplace, Facebook offers native support for shipping, acts as an escrow service between buyers and sellers, and even enables orders to be placed during Facebook Live streams.

WhatsApp is becoming a frictionless e-commerce platform, with a Product Catalog feature allowing merchants to list their SKUs and the ability to accept payments right inside the WhatsApp Business app.

Last but not leas is Instagram. On top of the existing product tags, Shopping channel (within Explore) and Checkout (which lets users buy products from sellers without leaving the app), Instagram is rolling out a Shopping from Creators update that lets influencers feature products in their posts. This is product placement at an unprecedented scale.

For small brands and e-commerce businesses, these updates bring a lot of opportunities to the table: access to one of the largest online audiences in the world and a new direct-to-consumer sales channel with no fixed infrastructure costs, and less friction between acquisition and conversion than ever.

With New Opportunities Come New Challenges

All the above-mentioned announcements pave the way for the Facebook family of apps to become an end-to-end, infrastructure-free business solution allowing brands and e-commerce companies to cover the entire customer journey -- from listing products to raising awareness and promoting offerings, all the way up to accepting payments and measuring results. All of it can be done inside one single platform.

The promise of an all-in-one ecosystem empowering merchants to sell where their customers already are, with no upfront costs, is extremely appealing. In fact, it very well may bring barriers to entry to do business online to an all-time low (read: close to zero). On the flip side, such a disruption potentially will bring its own set of new risks to address and problems to solve.

First, there is the question of cannibalization of existing sales channels. Are merchants going to reach new audiences through the Facebook-enabled commerce ecosystem, or displace transactions from their Shopify, Etsy or Amazon storefronts? In other words, is this technology going to make the pie bigger, or distribute the same slices differently?

Second, whether we observe the rise of new Facebook pure players (shops built and operating exclusively within the Facebook ecosystem) or we see a massive exodus of orders from existing platforms toward the Facebook family of apps, the question of merchants' captivity by and dependency on the ecosystem will pop up.

Third, it is reasonable to anticipate that new commerce activities that blossom within the Facebook ecosystem will put additional pressure on organic reach availability and advertising inventory, leading to an increase in bids and cost per acquisition (CPA). This is especially worth keeping in mind, given that Facebook and Instagram alone account for more than 80 percent of the social ad spend market.

Then there is the question of transaction fees, not only in the early days but most importantly over time -- especially if these new sales channels have cannibalized other revenue streams, and merchants are dependent (not to say locked in) on one ecosystem.

Welcome to the Era of Vertically Integrated Platforms

Interestingly, Facebook is not the only tech giant to march toward such a vertical integration. In fact, the other three members of GAFA -- Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon -- are on their way as well.

While consumers became used to finding products on Google (including Adwords) and discovering brands through Facebook (including Facebook Ads), and then buying those products on marketplaces such as Amazon or independent stores built with Shopify, they now have more opportunities to walk their entire purchasing journey within one ecosystem.

Google is the king of search and advertising, of course, and has been in the shopping business for a while. It has accelerated this effort recently, as announced during Google Marketing Live. Integrating product offerings into YouTube is yet another smart way of capturing value along the entire consumer journey, from discovery to payment.

This is worth noting, especially since Google also controls one more element of the consumer stack: the Web browser, with Chrome, which may create synergies with its advertising solutions.

Amazon started by enabling online transactions for consumers (with products from its inventory, sold through its payment system), before allowing other merchants to distribute their own products on the platform. It since has become a default search engine for many consumers looking for products online. That's not to mention its incredible growth on the advertising front in the past year.

Although not in the realm of physical products, Apple has been following a similar strategy for a long time, controlling the search and distribution of apps through its App Store, allowing developers to promote them with Apple Search Ads, and taking 30 percent of any revenue generated there.

Bottom Line for Small Brands and E-Commerce Businesses

Time will tell how this trend of vertical integration in general, and Facebook's announcement during F8 2019 in particular, will reshape the online marketplace as we know it.

In the short term, there is no doubt that small brands and e-commerce businesses will be able to take advantage of this uncharted land to connect with new customers, better interact with them, and drive more sales.

Looking ahead, it will be interesting to see how consumers' usage evolves. If we look beyond that, chances are pretty high of Facebook inevitably becoming a player in the e-commerce field.

For Facebook, the future is private. For brands, the future -- or, at least, a substantial part of it -- is Facebook.

Thibaud Clement is cofounder and CEO of Loomly.

Read More

Leave A Comment

More News

TechCrunch » Social

Atlan raises $2.5M to stop enterprises from being 2019-07-01 19:35:14Even as much of the world is digitizing its governance, in small towns and villages of India, data about its citizens is still being largely logged on

Secret Border Patrol Facebook group is brimming with 2019-07-01 15:08:08At a time when immigration and border issues are foremost on Americans' minds, the integrity of the men and women who enforce those policies is simil

Daily Crunch: Facebook is ‘too narrow’ on removing 2019-07-01 13:40:25The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox ever

Girlboss pivots to provide a LinkedIn for professional 2019-07-01 13:28:08Girlboss is the multi-media brand for women founded by serial entrepreneur Sophia Amoruso, whose last company, Nasty Gal, presaged the direct to consu

Spark Networks SE closes its $258M acquisition of 2019-07-01 13:12:56Berlin-based Spark Networks, the owner of niche dating app brands like Christian Mingle, Jdate, LDSsingles, Silver Singles, JSwipe and others, today a

Facebook civil rights audit says white supremacy policy 2019-06-30 18:00:26Facebook’s second progress report pertaining to the civil rights audit conducted by former ACLU Washington Director Laura Murphy is here. Over t

Adopting a ratings system for social media like 2019-06-30 09:30:19Internet platforms like Google, Facebook and Twitter are under incredible pressure to reduce the proliferation of illegal and abhorrent content on the

Facebook SDK bug crashed apps like Timehop 2019-06-28 16:33:24A malfunction in Facebook’s Software Development Kit that lets apps add Login With Facebook, sharing, and other features caused apps that integr

Apple tries out the ‘choose-your-own adventure’ Twitter thread 2019-06-28 14:52:02It looks like choose-your-own-adventure Twitter games won’t be a one-hit wonder, now that Apple’s social team has adopted the format. A ne

How startups can make influencer marketing work on 2019-06-28 14:40:31Influencer Marketing has ballooned into a $25 billion industry, yet many marketing managers are left confused by this, because for them, it’s re

Italy stings Facebook with $1.1M fine for Cambridge 2019-06-28 09:50:08Italy’s data protection watchdog has issued Facebook with a €1 million (~$1.1M) fine for violations of local privacy law attached to the Ca

Facebook’s content oversight board plan is raising more 2019-06-28 08:08:27Facebook has produced a report summarizing feedback it’s taken in on its idea of establishing a content oversight board to help arbitrate on mod


This Sony soundbar has Bluetooth built in — 2019-07-03 13:47:52TL;DR: This sleek Sony soundbar with built-in Bluetooth usually retails for $198, but Amazon's got it on sale right now for just $148 — a 25% s

Tesla delivers 95,200 cars in Q2, breaking record 2019-07-03 12:40:48The Elon Musk-run company recently hit a rough first quarter. However, this news is a step in the right direction for Tesla.Read more here. Read more.

Volkswagen reveals electric concept car modeled after 1962 2019-07-03 12:39:48The company unveiled the concept car at IECC. The vehicle is all-electric and was converted from a 57-year-old Type 2 van.Read more here. Read more...

Giant pool float sale: Save up to $50 2019-07-03 12:29:10Whether you’re hosting a pool party, just catching some sun, or trying to get an Instagram-worthy picture, pool floats are the perfect summer ac

Megan Rapinoe gives champion-level response to the tea 2019-07-03 12:23:51Megan Rapinoe may not have seen the field during the U.S. women's World Cup semifinal win over England on Tuesday, but she still had a big impact off

Hailie Sahar on how 'Good Trouble' and 'Pose' 2019-07-03 12:13:54The newest episode of Freeform’s Good Trouble centers on recurring character Jazmin Martinez’s 30th birthday double quinceañera. It

This Kuvings cold press juicer can process whole 2019-07-03 12:09:58TL;DR: This whole fruit slow juicer is priced at $399.95 on Kuvings' website, but Amazon has it on sale for only $359. Just as you swapped your puffy

Turn your arm into a touch screen with 2019-07-03 12:06:52'Lumiwatch' is an on-arm projection smartwatch. The fully-functional, self-contained device offers 40 square centimeters of interactive surface area

Ultimate Ears Blast wireless speaker is waterproof and 2019-07-03 11:34:31TL;DR: The waterproof Ultimate Ears Blast wireless speaker is on sale for $69.99 saving you $110. This summer is bringing the heat with music, y'all.

Ninja Chef high-speed blender is $50 off at 2019-07-03 11:30:41TL;DR: The powerful Ninja Chef high-speed blender is on sale for $109 at Walmart, saving you $50. We love a good combination appliance that does the w

The George Foreman indoor/outdoor grill is on sale 2019-07-03 11:26:36TL;DR: You can score this surprisingly spacious George Foreman indoor/outdoor electric grill at Walmart for just $59.99, a savings of $39 off the regu

Instagram, WhatsApp, and Facebook are having issues. Again. 2019-07-03 11:20:59Call it a perfect social media-free storm. Facebook's three social platforms — Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp — all experienced outage

The Next Web

The Flair Signature Pro makes brewing delicious espresso 2019-07-03 13:59:33I never expected to become an amateur barista. A little over a year ago, I decided to stop spending so much money buying iced mochas at coffee shops a

Ethereum still loved by dapp developers, but trails 2019-07-03 11:23:26Ethereum might feature more decentralized apps (dapps) than any other blockchain, but its rivals are enjoying significantly higher usage. In fact

How to keep YouTube videos playing in the 2019-07-03 11:15:33Welcome to TNW Basics, a collection of tips, guides, and advice on how to easily get the most out of your gadgets, apps, and other stuff. I love

The Cowboy e-bike is so good I want 2019-07-03 11:14:16I’m going to get straight to the point: I’ve tested out a few electric bikes in my time, and while I love the VanMoof Electrified 2 series

‘The world’s greatest email app’ is a privacy 2019-07-03 10:42:30Superhuman bills itself as the world’s greatest email client. It should, given how much it costs; users of the app pay $30 a month for a subscri

Here’s how gamification can help your business understand 2019-07-03 09:54:56Today’s operations require more comprehensive stores of information, most of which deals expressly in the human behavior of consumers or interna

You can kickstart a lucrative DevOps career with 2019-07-03 09:00:00Applying this logic to your professional development, continuing to learn new skills is key to surviving and staying relevant. DevOps is a new methodo

CHEAP: [inner peace] > this can be yours 2019-07-03 08:49:44Welcome to CHEAP, our series about things that are good, but most of all, cheap. CHEAP! Honestly, noise-canceling headphones are a must today. Noisy p

UK regulator wants crypto-derivatives ban to protect ‘ill-suited’ 2019-07-03 08:43:21The UK‘s Financial Conduct Authority has proposed a ban on cryptocurrency-related investment products to protect retail investors. In an announc

Android creator Andy Rubin accused of running a 2019-07-03 07:53:36Android founder, Andy Rubin, may have left Google long back in 2014, but his departure is beginning to attract more unsavory attention as more informa

Researchers invent multiplayer Tetris game controlled by brainwaves 2019-07-02 15:23:47A team of scientists from the University of Washington and Carnegie Mellon University have developed a method by which three people can play a Tetris-

Research: The best way to stop the spread 2019-07-02 13:25:47It can be hard to tell whether a picture is real. Consider, as the participants in our recent research did, these two images and see whether you think


What Are the Right Questions to Ask When 2019-07-03 13:30:00Focus on the important stuff at the start of your entrepreneurial journey.

Listen: New Opportunities in the Cannabis Business 2019-07-03 13:22:00G. Ryan Ansin is a top tier investor and founder of Revolution Farms. Here's where he sees the business going.

How 7 High-Performing CEOs Maintain Massive Momentum in 2019-07-03 13:00:00Do the little things every day.

6 Steps to Boost the Value of Your 2019-07-03 12:00:00If you run an online shop, don't you dare sell it before checking this list.

5 Business and Life Lessons on Grit and 2019-07-03 11:00:00Grit and determination were the characteristics this famous socialite, author and actress offered the world.

Tesla Stock Jumps 7 Percent After Setting Quarterly 2019-07-03 11:00:00The Entrepreneur Index™ starts the second half of the year on a high note.

How a Surprise Round of Funding Suddenly Saved 2019-07-03 10:30:00This tech company has now earned millions in investments.

How We Can Beat Venture Capital's Diversity Problem 2019-07-03 10:00:00Minorities and females are yet to be fully integrated into the venture-backed technology world. So, what can we do?

China Is Installing Spyware on Tourists' Phones 2019-07-03 09:51:56The app is forcefully installed at border crossings and collects all your personal information.

Auto Industry Leader Lee Iacocca, Credited With Saving 2019-07-03 09:50:04He is best known for helping launch the Ford Mustang in the 1960s and for reviving Chrysler under his leadership and saving it from bankruptcy in the

Entrepreneur Insider Video of the Week: Use Instagram 2019-07-03 09:00:00Watch this free Entrepreneur Insider session with digital marketing expert Jon Horowitz, who will teach you how to attract your ideal audience, boost

How Amazon Prime Day Can Bring in Prime 2019-07-03 08:45:00Get your products ready for one of the biggest online shopping days of the year with these four tips.

E-Commerce Times

Oracle Does OK - Surprised? 2019-06-22 08:00:00To all the geniuses who advised selling Oracle shares ahead of this week's earnings call: You might want to recheck your calculations. On your slide

What Shifting Data Use Means for Pay-TV and 2019-06-21 13:16:12For many, Netflix was the first wake-up call that a new-generation of online or technology companies could have a significant impact on pay-TV busines

Plot Thickens With Dish's Interest in Sprint, T-Mobile 2019-06-20 11:58:01The merger between T-Mobile and Sprint has been dragging on for quite a long time, but it finally may be in the home stretch. To get the deal approved

Customizing for Your Customers: How Headless Commerce Is 2019-06-19 08:00:00The future is headless. As the world of commerce continues to mature, today's most successful retailers have one thing in common: They're getting be

Facebook's Libra Cryptocurrency May Revolutionize E-Commerce 2019-06-19 05:55:07Facebook has released details about Libra, its long-rumored cryptocurrency. The company outlined plans "for a new decentralized blockchain, a low-vol

Thinking Different at Salesforce Connections 2019-06-18 14:42:13Salesforce has a genius way of putting people at ease and opening their minds before any of the company's representatives say a word about product. P

Walmart Ups the Ante in Grocery Delivery Competition 2019-06-18 06:00:00Walmart has a new weapon in the grocery delivery wars. Online shoppers can subscribe to a $98-per-year "Delivery Unlimited" plan that aims to siphon

The New Era of E-Commerce Personalization 2019-06-17 15:26:21A personalized shopping experience gives e-commerce sites an edge, and businesses increasingly have been seeking ways to welcome their customers. "Ev

Retailers' Most Common Cloud Mistakes and How to 2019-06-15 08:00:00It's easy to understand why so many retail organizations have moved their infrastructure to the cloud. Cloud-based architecture allows provisioning n

Can Brands Protect Privacy While Personalizing? 2019-06-14 08:00:00I sometimes think personalization is the best thing that happened to humankind in terms of marketing. As a consumer, I love getting suggestions on wha

Are You Gish-Galloping Your Business Toward Disruption? 2019-06-13 12:45:01Recent events have led to many people learning about a long-understood rhetorical tactic called "Gish galloping." Named after creationist Duane Gish

Internet's Crowds Stunting Its Growth: Trends Report 2019-06-13 06:12:56More than half the world's population -- 3.8 billion people -- have access to the Internet and that may not be a good thing for business, according t

Social News Daily

Astronauts Refuse To Render Sperm Samples In Space 2019-07-01 19:22:35Astronauts keep refusing to furnish sperm samples during their space missions, placing a halt to space reproduction research before they can even comm

This Is What Real Champions Eat for Breakfast 2019-07-01 08:00:54How can you be more like the world-class athletes that inspire millions around the world every day? By checking out what they eat for breakfast, of co

Man Tats ‘Will You Marry Meow?’ On His 2019-06-28 17:33:28Instead of the traditional getting down on one knee, a man proposed to his girlfriend by tattooing ‘will you marry meow?’ on his behind. D

Driving Instructor Dies After Being Run Over By 2019-06-28 06:15:37A driving test examiner has been slain after being run over by a 68-year-old lady taking her driving test, local authorities have confirmed. The accid

7 Marketing Tips for Small Businesses to Leverage 2019-06-27 14:29:30Even if you are a small business owner, you still need to think about some of the ways to market your products and services properly — especiall

What’s The Dill? Pickle Pizzas May Be The 2019-06-26 19:56:40Minnesota’s own QC Pizza pizzeria has taken one step further and spawned a pickle pizza pie, and it’s totally covered in them. Pickles are

Woman Claims Moisturizer Has Cleared Up Psoriasis In 2019-06-25 17:14:39After applying Liz Earle’s Skin Replenishing Body Balm for 4 weeks, 22-year-old Shannon Lauren claims the raw, red patches on her skin have heal

Social Media Etiquette: Matters Surrounding Surrogacy 2019-06-25 06:23:15Indeed, the boom of technology and social media have had so much impact in the daily lives of this generation. From birthdays, weddings, and other imp

Veterinarians Unearth 19 Baby Pacifiers In Bulldog’s Tummy 2019-06-24 17:33:38A Boston bulldog digested approximately 19 pacifiers — heisting them from his master’s children over the course of various months. Misplac

Vape Bursts In Teenager’s Mouth Shattering Their Teeth 2019-06-21 15:26:39Austin Adams, 17, from Ely, Nevada, suffered very serious injuries to his jaw and mouth after his e-cigarette unexpectedly exploded. The teen had to b

Man Adopts Dog From Shelter Then Butchers It 2019-06-18 17:51:01With a desire to appease his craving for dog meat, a man elected to adopt a dog on the guise of needing a guard dog, then butchered it when he got hom

Refinery29 Spearheads Women Empowerment in the Digital Market 2019-06-18 08:00:53Women empowerment is rapidly moving across platforms and industries, and one of the first companies to embrace women in the digital industry is digita

Disclaimer and Notice:WorldProNews.com is not responsible of these news or any information published on this website.