As Instagram is working hard to create compelling ways to interact with creators, its brother Facebook (we can safely see them as siblings now) is clearly upping its game.
From Facebook’s very own announcement, we can spot a lot of buzzwords such as passion and fans – nevertheless, Facebook is clearly giving influencers a new powerful tool to foster communities around their content.
As per last week, Facebook launched Facebook Creator.
What is Facebook Creator, you may rightfully ask?
It’s a proper toolkit offering influencers Live Creative Kit for adding intros and outros to broadcasts, a unified inbox of Facebook and Instagram comments plus Messenger chats, cross-posting to Twitter and expansive analytics.
The Creator app launched globally on iOS with Android planned for the coming months – even if, in total transparency, the app is an update of the 2014 Facebook Mentions app(only available to verified public figures and Pages at the time)
Any individual profile or Page (only representing an individual) can download Creator and get happily lost in its engagement tools.
Another exciting update, at the very least for us, who prioritise education above everything else: Facebook is also launching a Facebook for Creators website including tips and tricks on growing fan bases, examples of what other influencers are doing and access to answers of frequently asked questions (yes, this is a customer retention tool for Facebook, but we cannot blame them for outsmarting competition!)
“We understand that creators have specific needs, and we’re committed to helping them on their journey as they grow and find their community. As part of this commitment, we’re announcing two initiatives to help creators unleash their creativity: an app that helps creators manage their presence on Facebook and a central destination where creators can get the resources they need to improve and grow.” (Facebook Newsroom)
“The idea was there to give them a one-stop-shop for all the functionality to manage their presence on the go”
Simo explains about the Creator app on TechCrunch.
The Live Creative Kit is basically a bundle of tools that lets users add intros, outros and custom emoji reactions to their live broadcasts – making Facebook videos more and more like YouTube (interestingly enough, is Facebook trying to take over the big giant?)
Influencers can go on Facebook’s site, upload an intro like a theme song or welcome, and an outro like a call to follow them across social media – this is answering a need from influencers who like to be able to introduce every time what their show is about or what the theme is about.
Graph frames let influencers add a pretty border to their videos for a more immersive feel.
And custom reactions let creators replace one of the six default “haha,” “‘angry” or “wow” alternatives to the standard “Like” with a graphic of their choice. That could tie in with the theme of their broadcast or personality. For example, Simo says feel-good video star Markian could add an especially toothy smile reaction to entertain his fan club group on Facebook, the #SmileSquad.
These features push Facebook Live well beyond the capabilities of Twitter’s Periscope, and could make it more viable than YouTube Live.
Unified inbox was already an implementation of the new Facebook Page app, however, it has been polished for the Creator tools: rather than having to constantly jump between Facebook, Instagram and Messenger, Facebook is putting all of a creator’s comments and messages in a single inbox with Creator, which is also going to benefit Instagram.
As video and visuals are key for content marketing, Facebook Camera and Stories sharing are available from Creator with a single swipe.
Interestingly, Facebook will let people cross-post to Instagram and Twitter to reduce the friction of putting their content everywhere – which is a smart move to make sure people always come back to Facebook for sharing and engaging. Also, with busy lives and schedules, they are clearly focusing on convenience.
Where to go next? How to support influencers further.
“it’s not a one size fits all when it comes to monetization. [Creators] all need a lot of different things. We’re open to exploring a lot of different business models but on that front nothing to announce at this time.” (TechCrunch)
Truth is, with a few implementations (read groups and sponsored content) Facebook could take over YouTube as content creation marketplace for influencers. As authenticity is key, the importance for influencers of being able to tap into their friends as loyal followers is essential.
By adding subscription options or revenue-sharing ad breaks, Facebook could easily take on Patreon, YouTube and Snapchat. At the very moment, the only option is to post sponsored, branded content and label it with Facebook’s partnership tagging feature.