A Recap Of All The New Features Rolled Out By Facebook In 2021

Are you looking for a complete list of the latest features launched by Facebook last year?

With nearly 3 billion monthly active users and a host of powerful advertising features, Facebook has indeed opened a new world of opportunities for marketers! 

But this social media giant has been changing and growing rapidly, especially in the last one year. It is now crucial to stay up-to-date with the latest features to market effectively on this dynamic platform.

So, this article provides a quick review of all the new features rolled out by Facebook in 2021, that you must know in order to find success in this new year-

In-stream ads

Any Facebook live stream can now be monetized through in-stream ads. You can add pre-roll, mid-roll videos or simply image advertisements on your own to your live streams and earn from them.

Moreover, Facebook will provide actionable metrics for each in-stream ad, helping you refine your advertising strategy to get maximum returns. 

So, if you are a marketer looking to promote your offerings during live streams, this is an opportunity that you just cannot miss!

Page redesign

Facebook started 2021 on a fresh note by revamping its page design in January. This redesign made business pages more user-friendly and conducive to community formation and engagement. Now that’s exactly what a marketer needs!

Here are the key changes that were made in this update-

  • Dedicated News Feed has been added
  • Actionable insights added
  • More relevant notifications
  • New safety features introduced
  • Layout redesigned to give a more organized look
  • Easier navigation between personal profile and business pages

The Metaverse initiative

Facebook recently changed its corporate name to Meta as it shifted focus to developing the Metaverse i.e. virtual spaces where people can interact and share information.

In line with this, Meta introduced VR support for Facebook Messenger and launched a virtual space called Horizon World. All you need to access the virtual world is a supported VR headset!

While such VR features are currently in their nascent phase, their potential as a marketing medium is already being explored. Techniques such as virtual ad placement, immersive VR trials of products and virtual collectibles are already being tested by various companies.

Facebook reels

Yes, the reels feature finally arrived in 2021! You can now share short videos with annotations on Facebook to raise your viewer base, engagement and visibility in the news feed. The reels can include videos, music or audio and viewers can comment and react to them instantly. 

Facebook reels is now helping creators and group members to express themselves, engage with their audience and build a community through entertaining content of all types. 

The reels feature is a great opportunity for every marketer on Facebook to build a following while promoting products/services through targeted content.

Live stream Stars

Facebook live streams can now be monetized with symbolic “Stars”. Viewers have the option to purchase and send these stars to the streamer to support him/her financially while raising the visibility of the live stream.

This innovative feature can help you to build a greater community feeling and engagement with your target audience in a short while.

New advertisement policies

If you are interested in making ads related to major political or social issues, the process is a bit complex now. You will first need authorization from Facebook and must include disclaimers with the name of the person or organization that is running the ad.

Facebook has also released notifications about commerce policies, event policies, and branded content policies that you must follow in every ad you publish.

Moreover, Facebook is introducing measures to block tracking of teenagers’ data for ad targeting.

Conversion API 

Facebook has added a Conversion API (application programming interface) feature that helps you optimize your Facebook marketing campaign. This API is basically a data exchange tool that allows you to target, optimize, and monitor your marketing campaigns easily.

The tool will measure user actions and traffic across your sales funnel, and then provide deep insights into your traffic and campaign performance. Based on its results, you can then optimize your marketing campaign and make corrections where needed.

So, make sure to check out this API to get key metrics that will help you boost your Facebook marketing.

New advertisement options

Facebook now provides more features and preferences for optimizing your advertising campaigns. Here are the key additions to the advertising options-

  • You can use the Conversion Leads goal feature to send ads straight to the leads who are the most likely to convert. 
  • You can even set a Calls Optimization Goal in order to connect with customers who are most likely to click on a Call Now ad button, hence raising performance and lowering the cost per call. 
  • You can also convert Lead ads forms into Messenger templates, making it easy to follow up with your leads through Facebook Messenger.
  • You can now integrate your CRM data right into Facebook for a more specific reach.
  • A topic exclusion feature which allows better targeting is currently being tested.

Podcasts feature

Facebook has introduced a much awaited feature which lets users listen to podcasts within the mobile app without leaving it. The podcast will play in the background while you can continue using the app as you wish.

Not only is this convenient for users, it also offers a new opportunity for marketers! As the popularity of podcasts grows, you will be able to use it to reach out to your target audience easily with engaging audio content. It’s time to speak up!

Facebook pay 

Facebook has been expanding its features rapidly throughout 2021, and the payment feature has been a big jump forward in this pursuit. Facebook pay is Facebook’s own payment system that allows users and businesses to send and receive money. This feature allows instant payments across Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp!

With this feature, users can quickly contribute to fundraisers on Facebook or buy products within Facebook or WhatsApp conveniently.

Naturally, marketers must also adjust their promotional content and strategy to incorporate this integrated payment system. This is especially vital if their offerings are sold on the Facebook or WhatsApp stores.

Live Audio Rooms

Live Audio Rooms is an innovative feature that the company is currently testing. Audio Rooms are expected to enhance engagement by letting people discuss openly about their experiences and interests. 

This feature is being tested in both Groups and Messenger, and will allow upto 50 users to speak with unlimited listeners. Audio rooms offer a chance for marketers to invite popular figures to market their products to a targeted audience in real time.

What’s more? Live audio rooms can also be monetised through the stars feature or fund raising system.

Changes to Facebook and WhatsApp shops

This change to the shops feature was announced by Mr. Mark Zuckerberg himself during a live audio room in June. In this update, Facebook has made it easier for users to browse shops and buy products while they scroll through their feeds.

Coupled with the upcoming Facebook Pay feature, this update is expected to simplify shopping on Facebook greatly. Facebook marketers must adjust their promotional strategy swiftly to reap this opportunity!

Comment moderation and live chat support

Facebook has introduced various features to make life easy for content creators on the platform in 2021.

Creators can now moderate the comments on their posts or live streams, so you can easily block selected users and remove comments that have objectionable terms. 

Moreover, you can also chat with Meta officials for troubleshooting or guidance during content creation in real time.

It’s time to say goodbye to offensive comments and utilize live support features to seamlessly market your offerings through compelling content!

Monetization of stories 

Facebook has been focusing on monetizing various facilities to support content creators, and Facebook stories are no exception! Just like reels and audio rooms, Facebook stories can also be monetized.

This feature will help marketers to promote their offerings more creatively and profitably, but it is currently being tested and not yet made public.

Facebook Sound Studio and Soundbites

Facebook has been striving to reap the potential of all formats of content in 2021. The Sound Studio and Soundbites features are surely a major step ahead in this direction!

The Sound Studio feature includes advanced audio recording and editing features along with provisions to add captions and background music. Meanwhile, the Soundbites feature will let you create short videos with powerful audio editing options and captions.

These features will be ideal to share short stories and interesting clips with amazing sound effects, creating unique opportunities that marketers must explore. After all, audio marketing may be the next big thing after video marketing!

New group features

Facebook groups have been updated with new admin options to generate higher engagement and community feeling. So, if you are an admin of a marketing group, you have a assortment of new options to try including-

  • Create your own group culture by selecting reaction emojis.
  • Customize the groups by changing color themes, backgrounds and fonts.
  • Automatically send customized welcome messages to new users.
  • Pin announcements in the new “featured” section that all users see on opening the group.
  • Easily add posts from anywhere in the page without having to scroll to the top (applies to all members).

Using these features, you can create a more customized marketing strategy that will ensure a better involvement of prospective/existing customers and higher brand loyalty.

Conclusion

Meta is continuously striving to expand the scope and user base of its social media platform. In fact, 2021 has been an especially busy year for the company with a plethora of new features being introduced.

Moreover, every new feature has bought new opportunities for marketers and those who will reap them timely are bound to find success.

So, go ahead and check out all these new Facebook features to achieve an edge over your competition as the new year begins…

Do you feel we missed out on any feature? Please comment below and let us know!

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