8 New Facebook Features You Need to Know as a Social Media Pro


8 New Facebook Features You Need to Know as a Social Media Pro

If you want to stay ahead of the Facebook Marketing Likes, one way is to attend Facebook’s annual developer’s conference. Sound geeky?

Think again, it’s a two-day conference with keynotes from Mark Zuckerberg himself along with tech leaders from the Facebook team and more than 50 sessions unveiling the future of Facebook. You will get the latest developments and tips straight from the source! Keep in mind, it is un-Like any other marketing conference so here is what you need to know your Facebook future.

Now – Keynote at Facebook F8

Posted by Navah Berg on Tuesday, May 1, 2018

1. Always register, even if you don’t think you will be invited or accepted.

I did, and this time I was accepted. When the conference applications went out my alert was set and boom, I registered right away. My social media brain said: Facebook marketing secrets here I come!

It all started with an email from Facebook Developers on February 21st, Subject Line: “You’re invited to F8 2018 — application approved!”

Like winning the lottery. Overjoyed and eager to dive into everything F8 would bring, I purchased the ticket immediately without knowing my plans or if any scheduling conflicts would arise (and need to be changed because I wasn’t missing this)!

2. VResearch. AResearch. SocialVResearch.

No invite? No Facebook Marketing problem! There are many ways you could stream online and actually, you can still watch it

From the moment I received my invite, I started curating a list of speakers from the schedule and searching the hashtag #F8, “Facebook F8” and “Facebook Conference.”

I did this across all social, LinkedIn, Facebook, Facebook Groups, and I even created a Twitter List. I commented on strangers’ content and seeked to get connected anywhere I could! This allowed me to follow like-minded people, listen to the conversation, engage in the conversation, see what topics would be brought up, and help determine if the subject matter was in line with what I was looking to learn. I even made a friend or two from it!

#SocialPRSecret: Start curating a list of speakers/attendees/writers and join the conversation. This will help you learn the trends and topics of your conference in real-time, find out what events are happening, engage with other attendees and speakers, along with making it easier to share tweets and find Twitter handles.

Fun fact! By doing this,  someone in the media asked me to give a quote or two on what I anticipated to obtain from the Facebook F8 Developer Conference. I shared my knowledge and some of it was published in this article:

Facebook attempts to win over hostile developers after privacy lockdown

3. Women In VR are So EXTRA

Rewind to April 26th, when my friend in the industry, Cathy Hackl, set up a Facebook meeting for me at Facebook HQ.  Cathy is an Emmy award-winning Marketer,  recent HTC Vive Evangelist, ambassador of spatial computing, author, and current Futurist at Atlanta-based VR and Augmented Reality firm You Are Here Labs.


cathy hackl lisa buyer navah berg women in vr
Social VR Angels #TBT with Me, Lisa Buyer and Cathy Hackl at Social Media Marketing World

What a gesture from a colleague and fellow digital media passionista! Check out her book  Marketing New Realities: An Introduction to VR & AR Marketing, Branding & Communications

Adventure Awaited Me at Facebook HQ

Fast forward to May! It was time to embark on THE Facebook HQ tour. Amazing much?

Beyond thrilled, sort of like, can’t sleep until I get there so excited. Thank you to infinity and beyond Cathy, I can never show my true appreciation for this opportunistic tour.

Like any conference, stay connected with all of the women in tech you have met online or offline – they are a connection to something bigger. A girl power one that loves to share content and any updates that happen in the social VR world! 

Another example of this is when I met Iva Leon via the Facebook Spaces Community Group. We connected online and got together in the VR world while I was testing out Facebook Spaces in the Developer garage at F8.

Women in Social VR
Iva Leon and me in Facebook Spaces at F8.

Relationships like this can help your business grow by learning from them and coming up with ideas you might not have had before. Then you go home to opposite sides of the country, yet stay connected, bounce ideas off one another, expand your network, and ultimately better each other for future endeavors.

women of f8 facebook developer conference 2018
Joining the Women of F8 Facebook Developer Conference

SocialPRSecret: Always ask!

This year Facebook F8 Developer Conference had a “Women In F8” breakfast, the ideal setting to network and be informed about special events and newsworthy activity happening all around. If you don’t get the invite and the room isn’t filled to capacity, they will allow you to join.

4. Instagram New Features: Share. Connect. Explore.

New Feature: Explore – Coming soon to an Instagram near you, look for an updated version to Explore, think a Pinterest-Like grid.

You might ask, “why is this important?” Not only will this update help you search for content and people much easier than you currently can. It will also get your content aligned with others that might have missed your stellar posts. Here’s what Zuckerberg said in his keynote:

“We are looking for new ways people can use Instagram to create stronger relationships. On Instagram, you go to Explore to discover new ideas, people, and experiences.”

Zuckerberg continued, “Now we’re excited to bring you a redesigned Explore that makes discovery even easier,” noted Zuckerberg.

Things to note

  • Explore is still personalized for you.
  • The content is now organized into topic channels, so you can browse across your interests and go deeper into those topics (and your customers can too!)


New Feature: Video Group Chat messaging through Instagram, one on one or in a group.

Social PR Secret: Though the video chat isn’t out of beta yet – you can start by creating a group on Instagram via messages. Here’s how:

1. Tap the paper airplane icon in the top right corner while in your Instagram feed
2. Touch the + sign, then select two or more people to start a group chat.
3. Now you have a group! Don’t forget to name it!

Creative Way to Use This New Feature

  • Create a group at a conference. When you are at a conference and connect with others on Insta, create a group with them on it. Don’t do more than four and make sure they are all interested in what you are planning to converse on.
  • Name the group with conference name and what they do – for example, I have one that is labeled Facebook F8 Insta. These are a few people I met at the conference that are Instagram social media pros!
  • Breaking Convo: When new updates on Instagram break you can reach out to them to talk about it. This content would be internal – nothing to share on social just sharing insight with like-minded folks.
  • Take it LIVE If anything good comes from that conversation – then you can ask them if they want to take it LIVE.

AR Camera Effects platform on Instagram

On May 1st Zuckerberg brought it to Instagram. Get in a meeting with your developer team and as Facebook says, “bring your imagination to life.” Check out some ideas Facebook has shared:

  • Focus on a solid use case: A solid use case might include: + I want to express who I am, what I’m doing, or how I’m feeling right now. * I want to share about current news, topics or trends. – I want to connect with others and have a conversation. + I want to be funny, silly or something ‘other’ than myself.
  • Add to the camera experience: Avoid taking over the majority of the camera view or making people completely unrecognizable to themselves. Allowing people to keep recognizable elements of their environment and/or their body helps to make the effect personally relevant.
  • Make it social: Consider adding support for multiple faces to your effect.
  • Keep interactions and animations obvious: Think of the most natural movement to trigger the most obvious change.

Cool AR Effects on Signage at Facebook F8 Conference:

Posted by Navah Berg on Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Want more? Here are the AR Studio Tips and Tricks resources and more!

Music to our eARs:

Starting with Spotify, SoundCloud, and GoPro, apps can share photographs and movies on to Stories inside Instagram AND Facebook.

Does your brand or company have a Spotify channel? Might be a good time to start? One of my favorite brands on Spotify is Shake Shack. The jams on their playlist are eAR-esistible.

Here are the steps:

  • Go to Spotify
  • Tap on a playlist or song
  • Tap on  Share
  • Tap on the social media platform you want, I chose Instagram Stories
  • Then add a hashtag (for more reach), emojis, gifs or text.
  • Press send in your stories
  • Now all of your friends can listen to your social media jams.

spotify instagram stories

5. Facebook 3D is Just a Down home g…lTF in a 3D World

Remember when AT&T said to reach out and touch someone and used ET in the commercial.

This pretty much blows that concept out of the water. You need to let your product developers, engineer or whoever is on your product team know about this. They should be on this like white on rice.

No silos allowed. You can literally bring your product into your customers’ life!

Bridge the gap between screen and reality.

3D posts and React360 is Facebook’s first step. This update is the closest you will get to help you more effectively:

  • Tell a story
  • Express empathy
  • Create meaningful social interaction 
  • And have your product reach out and touch someone.  

3D posts to the News Feed

These images can be rotated and viewed from all angles in the news feed. For Facebook to make that experience better, they announced the support for the industry-standard glTF 2.0 file format, providing richer and higher-quality 3D content for AR and VR users.

What You Need to Do Now:

  • Brainstorm
  • Be creative
  • Think outside the news feed
  • Play with tools to get templated versions of 3D posts
  • Work with designers and developers that can help you and your teams bring your products to life.

Why? As Facebook product manager Aykud Gönen wrote in a recent blog post:

“It also opens the door for a future where people can bring interesting objects and experiences with them across AR, VR, mobile, and web.”

“Whether it’s your favorite game and movie characters, architectural models or museum artifacts, all the way to fully interactive scenes.”

– – – – – –

Today: Mobile almost 2D

Future: Information in 3D

Now: Mind blown

– – – – – –

So you can go Mapping out Immersive Spaces to create a real feeling of presence. It’s not just going to be about seeing someone’s face on a small screen. You are going to feel like you are physically interacting with someone.

If you have some photos from your childhood home, you will soon be able to use computer vision to fill in the gaps to recreate the rooms of your childhood home where you grew up.

Note: Early adopters of VR will be ambassadors which will close the gap to the 2D world today and the immersive world of the future. How will you get started?

Tool Alert: Here is a fun way to create a 3D photo, if you aren’t a developer, https://easy3dpost.com/.

6. Messenger

  • New Redesign Messenger — a new simple and fast experience in their design.
  • AR Camera Effect to Messenger launching in beta to a closed user group.

What to note here: When it does launch, businesses should be quick to utilize Messenger’s Camera Effects Platform and be ready to add brand-specific effects with which their customers can engage.

First example: Sephora

People try on makeup all the time, right? No time to try on? Check out Sephora’s newest looks with products via Messenger.

Asos: Use Product showcase or as they had it “Product Walk Through”

Messenger Business: Bots to automate your FAQs – you know what they are. Get with your customer service team and have them readily available.

Fact: Over 8 billion messages to businesses a month

Takeaway: What equals a great AR Experience:

  • Reflect Real Life,
  • Integrate Movement,
  • Spark Conversation,

7. Facebook Groups

Facebook wants to connect you to the things you most care about. Groups is one of the best ways.

Fact: The growth of Groups is outpacing the growth of Facebook overall. Today, 1.4 billion people are using Groups each month. About 2 million (Facebook thinks) are super meaningful Groups.

Here’s one example of a group via a dear friend of mine, Tara Gustman, who is battling Breast Cancer, Let Me Get These Off My Chest.

let me get these off my chest tara gustman
Breast Cancer Support Group – Let Me Get These Off My Chest by Tara Gustman

A group created to share not only her journey of the ups and downs of having a family and dealing with breast cancer, but to create awareness for women under the age of forty to get themselves checked as early as possible. 

Family and Friends Wear the Tara Tribe StrongHER shirts


New Facebook Marketing Features Rolling Out

Groups Tab: Facebook wants to make it easier for you to check up on your “tribes” and a simpler way for you to join and discover new ones. They have added a tab, not only on your personal pages, but on your Business pages too!

Watch Party: Facebook announced that they are introducing Live commentating into the Watch party making the experience more social. It’s already live – I played with it a little and it seems this could be a really great way to connect even more with your tribe. 

facebook watch party for groups

Creative Ways to Use Facebook Groups Watch Party for Businesses

  • New Product Pre-Launch: Share a video of a prototype of your product and get some insight live and together – the moment it happens
  • New Ad or Marketing Video: Share it with your tribe first, make them feel EXTRA special by taking their feedback if it applies.
  • Information Sessions or Webinars: Share bits of your webinars that you might charge people for and have a watch party before it goes live! Get feedback, maybe something is missing? OR just enjoy watching it with them real-time!

8. VReady, Set, Oculus Go and More Facebook Marketing!

Last but not least, my favorite social VR update at F8 Oculus Go! Launching with over 1000 apps, including Netflix, Facebook 360, AltSpaceVR, Oculus Go has the highest quality lens and optics that Oculus has ever built into a VR device. It is the easiest way to get into VR. Everyone at F8 received one for free☺

free oculus go

Thank you Zuck!

Though you can’t go live on Facebook Spaces😱, you can go live on Facebook via the home area of Oculus in the “Sharing” section. I have been dabbling with the “Sharing” feature and the only negative is that in some “Oculus Rooms” and other activities through apps such as AltSpaceVR it doesn’t allow you to go Live. 

As I shared with Social PR author and UF professor, Lisa Buyer, in her recent article on Search Engine Journal:  Facebook Spaces + Oculus Go = mass adoption.

Social VR Facebook Spaces

Fun times at the Developer Garage’s Facebook Spaces Area

Posted by Navah Berg on Tuesday, May 1, 2018

If you don’t have an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive, here are a four things you can do:

  1. Connect with the FB Spaces Community Page – their Admins, Meaghan Fitzgerald and Lisa Kotecki, are rockstars!
  2. Engage with Facebook Spaces superstars like Laura Lou, Iva Leon, Siciliana Trevino Johnston, and Mike Mirabal.
  3. Social VR– Get an Oculus Rift and you will see that Facebook Spaces is another great tool to share your brand’s message and creatively interview other influencers in your industry
  4. Join in on the Social VR Conversation: Ask one of those ambassadors to Facebook Messenger you in like Nasdaq’s Anna Gonzalez did at the Facebook F8 Conference.



*Facebook Marketing STYLE BONUS:*

Super SocialVR Model Work! Facebook Cover Pro!

Fashion at F8

While I was getting ready (and definitely NOT sleeping from the excitement) I started Googling, what to wear at Facebook F8 Conference. Needless to say, nothing came up.

Facebook F8 Fashion Tip: Jeans, Blazer, and Converse are the go-to for this event. Want to get fancy? You won’t fit in with the crowd. Though as this tweet explained, for men it seemed the trending go to was:


F8-fully Yours,

Navah Berg, Social VR Evangelist.

PS. Take a moment with me on Twitter if you want a visual representation of what it was really like on Twitter while I was there.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

3 × 1 =

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.