The US government is still shut down, but social media is wide open. This week, Facebook makes it easier to create and measure ads, while making it harder for users to stay hidden. Another week, another user interface update at Yahoo.
Facebook Ads Become Easier to Create, Measure Impact
Facebook has announced an easier way to create ads and measure their impact. They've redesign their ad buying and reporting tools so that ads are recommended based on the objective of the ad. It's the strategic next step in Facebook's plan to make advertising on Facebook as simple as possible. First, they streamlined Facebook ad types and provided consistency across formats. Then, they streamlined ad products, removing online offers, sponsored results and question ads. Most recently, they let marketers upload one image size that would work for all types of ads on Facebook and offered a preview of how they would appear across Facebook.
With this latest announcement, ad objectives come first when buying ads on Facebook. Now, Facebook will recommend an appropriate ad-type based on the objective a business chooses. Additionally, the social media platform will improve how the impact of ads is measured. With its updated Ads Manager tool, ad buyers will now see the objective, the number of times the objective was met, and the cost per stated objective.
Facebook says that these updates are designed "so marketers can focus on what matters to them most: driving results for their business." It also represents a shift in social media advertising -- one that's focused on delivering a reportable ROI.
Facebook: Where Everyone Knows Your Name
In other Facebook news, they've completed the removal of a privacy setting called “Who can look up your Timeline by name?” along with new controls for managing content on Facebook. The network will be notifying those who had hidden themselves that they’ll now be searchable. So what's changing and what does this mean for the average user?
Thanks to Graph Search, finding people who wanted to remain hidden became easier, as almost every piece of personal information could be brought up in a search. Obviously, for those who were under the impression that they couldn't be found, it was a false sense of security, so Facebook decided to remove it. In its place, for users who’ve employed the privacy setting to avoid being searched by name, they will see an announcement at the top of their Facebook homepage explaining the update. They’ll have to confirm they understand the change before they’re put back into name search and the privacy setting disappears from their options.
What if you want to remain hidden from Graph Search? You'll have to manually restrict the visibility of each piece on your profile. That means sifting through every piece of personal information in your About section and set its visibility to ‘Friends’ or ‘Only me’. It seems too little, too late, considering that Facebook could have built stronger privacy controls into Graph Search. And for those that want to remain hidden out of necessity, Facebook isn't making it easy.
Yahoo: More Changes, More Controversy
In celebration of its 16th birthday, Yahoo unveiled a new design for its email -- inspired by the UI of Flickr and Tumblr. Described by Yahoo as "elegant and intuitive" the new email experience introduces a few new features. Among them is “conversations” which allows user to view emails grouped in threads. Additionally, users can search, starring, and deleting through one-click actions that appear when you hover over an email. They're also giving users a terabyte (!) of storage
The celebration is bittersweet, considering that another Tumblr big wig tendered his resignation. Christopher Price, the Editorial Director and Tumblr, who had been a part of the company since a week after it launched, joins Creative Director Jacob Bijani and Media Director Mark Coatney, in their departure. On his blog, Price wrote he doesn't say exactly why he chose to leave (or what he'll be doing next), but insists that "Joining Tumblr (both as a user and later on as an employee) will end up being one of the best decisions of my entire life."