Facebook has continued to be a tool for reaching far and wide audiences, and with multiple new features out this month, they show no signs of stopping soon.
A sense of community is a strong point for Facebook- users are able to connect with people through college classes, groups they are a part of, and more. This week, Facebook rolled out a new feature to easily contact and follow your local, state, and federal representatives- through the new “Town Hall” tab. Facebook recognizes their giant social impact, especially since this last election cycle, and is giving the power back to the people, in a way. You can now “Follow” or “Contact” your state and local representatives after adding your address from the prompt. If you are a mobile user, the “Contact” feature will automatically pull up their phone number!
On a lighter note, Facebook is also mimicking Instagram and SnapChat with their new “Stories” feature that was also launched earlier this week. On mobile, Facebook users can now update a temporary video or picture that’s viewable for 24 hours, or sent as a direct message. Sound familiar? Instagram launched an almost identical feature last summer. It also uses the same loved filters, drawing on picture and video capabilities, and uses sponsored content to advertise different filters.
Other quieter updates were also rolled out this March- Live Video streaming for desktop/laptop users and immersive VR for 360 media. Facebook has already had a live feature for their mobile app, but only recently did they update their desktop site to allow live video streaming. This is great news for creating high quality live vlogs, off-the-cuff Q&A sessions, and more.
The new Virtual Reality powered by Oculus allows the user to have a truly 3D viewing experience looking at saved videos and 360 images using the VR device. These have been popping up at airports and shopping malls for people to try out before they buy a VR device for themselves- and it’s also a great tool for Facebook to reach out to the community.