Facebook Instant: cut through with tech understanding

Screenshot of Saturday Night Live Facebook 360 Saturday Night Live Facebook 360

So Facebook continues to push its Instant Articles arm, designed to provide faster content for mobile devices. The social network platform has announced Instant will support 360-degree videos and photos.

Back in ye olde days, all you had to do if you wanted to create a content marketing campaign was write a blog, snap a picture and post them on your site.

Obviously, the post would have been targeted and full of valuable information. But essentially that was all you had to do. And a quick disclaimer here, we’re talking somewhere around 2008.

Things have moved on in a number of ways since then. Firstly, there are now a huge number of brands – from big to small – who are using content marketing.

But two other changes have proved seismic in terms of their effect, not just on content marketing but on media in general.

Change and yet more change

One is the shift from desktop to mobile, in terms of online viewing, and the other is the growth in video. Instant and other applications such as Google AMP simply combine the two and make it faster into the bargain.

Mobile especially has changed the way consumers view content online. Now more than half of it is accessed via a mobile device. Yet most webpages are still created for desktops, albeit with responsive design.

Facebook’s move into this area may well change all that; maybe people will have no time for old-fashioned words.

Although Facebook launched 360-degree videos for desktop a year ago, the medium represents a different challenge compared to mobile, where you have to keep load times down.

Essentially the new tool will allow users to interact with the content by tilting, clicking or dragging the image or the phone itself to view it from different angles.

What to do?

So what does this allow you to do if you are a B2B marketer, for example? It is worth remembering why customers are likely to find your content useful. Ultimately it is about information gathering prior to purchase or signing up. If not, it serves as brand building by providing useful information about company and product.

The ability to present 360-degree videos and photos is well and good but it still needs to fulfil the above criteria. A good example of this is a product shot that will allow people to look around a particular item you’re selling and examine it much more closely. Of course, you are still going to need words to augment the fancy images.

Get ahead of the game

With so much content floating around, practitioners who can master this sort of technology will have an edge on the competition. Simply put, if you are doing something the others aren’t then you are going to stand out. But it is not easy – and that’s why there are big gains to be made.

So you need to get all the simple stuff right, starting with the application. Technology for technology’s sake is not going to win the long game.

Facebook Instant: cut through with tech understanding is part of Content24, the blog for London content marketing agency FirstWord.

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