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4 Important changes on Facebook - 2016 I curated this information from Mari Smith's Facebook, because this excellent information and in Facebook newsfeed as we know, we will never find it again.

Image courtesy of Facebook

by Mari Smith on Facebook.

① Facebook may change the 20% text rule for ads!

② New Messenger features for businesses.

③ Epic Facebook Live updates.

④ New cover image dimensions.

1) THE 20% TEXT RULE FOR ADS MAY BE CHANGING!

Facebook is currently running tests in the UK & Ireland. This from my Facebook contacts: "The feature is being BETA TESTED in parts of the world (not the US or Canada). Facebook is testing the analytics of the ads' effectiveness of 'not having' vs. 'having' the 20% restriction. As with ALL 'beta testing' aspects to the platform, Facebook gathers the data and proceeds from there whether to 'not offer', 'offer to all', or 'only offer to some'. No time frames are ever given during Beta Stage. The 'less reach' aspect is put in place to dissuade people from producing 'business card' type creative, with 100% text."

See more at: http://adigitalboom.com/update-facebook-removes-20-text-overlay-rule-for-ads-uk-ireland/ via Digital Boom.

Excerpt: “The shift will eliminate the text policy, and will no longer disapprove ads based on the amount of text included in an ad’s image,” Facebook’s global advertising representative told Digital Boom in an email. “The spirit of the policy will still be in place,” added the representative. Instead of disapproving an ad for containing too much text, Facebook will alert users that they will be getting less reach for the same budget. “Ads with text overlay around or above the 20% limit in place today will receive reduced to no delivery instead of being disapproved,” the global advertising representative explained."

(Blue 20% with Husky image credit Content Harmony http://www.contentharmony.com/blog/facebook-ads-20-percent-grid-template/)

2) NEW MESSENGER ID, LINK & CODE FOR YOUR PAGE

Facebook just released new @username's for business pages... to make it easy for people to find and contact your business on Facebook Messenger. Your page's username is simple the vanity URL you already have. Soon, your username will show up directly on your Page, underneath your Page title with an @ symbol before it. There's also 'Messenger Links' that use a Page’s username to create a short and memorable link (m.me/username) that, when clicked, opens a conversation with the business in Messenger. Try mine: m.me/marismith (Facebook first tested as fb.me/marismith). PLUS, one more way for people to message you: Messenger Codes (similar to Snapchat!). These are unique codes that people can scan in Messenger using the camera in their phones to open a thread with your business.

See the official announcement here:
https://www.facebook.com/business/news/find-and-contact-businesses-on-messenger

3) FACEBOOK LIVE IN GROUPS, EVENTS & MORE FEATURES

Of course, the BIGGEST news of last week is the fact that Facebook Live is (or will be very soon) finally available to ALL users... and you can now use Live in GROUPS and EVENTS. Plus fun new features that are kind of Periscope-esque with floating/dancing emojis (Reactions) and kind of Snapchat-esque with Live filters & doodles. You can also send an invite to friends to watch Live with you. PLUS, there's a new Live video interactive map. Keep in mind, any time you broadcast Live video to public, you could show up on the map! Here's the map: https://www.facebook.com/livemap

See the official announcement here:
http://newsroom.fb.com/news/2016/04/introducing-new-ways-to-create-share-and-discover-live-video-on-facebook/

Live video will also start showing up in trending topics! Plus, look out for a brand new dedicated Live video search coming to mobile. See more about both of these at: http://newsroom.fb.com/news/2016/04/search-fyi-more-ways-to-discover-live-video/

WOWEE, what a BIG week for Facebook, yes?

4) FACEBOOK COVER IMAGE DIMENSIONS CHANGED

One more important update that has NOT been announced anywhere: the dimensions of the Facebook page cover image has changed!! Previously, it was 851x315px. Now it is 828x315px. If you've noticed your cover image a big pixelated or squished, this is likely why! Be sure to change the dimensions and, ideally, create as PNG. If you're using Canva, use the custom dimensions as their template still shows the 851x315px. See this updated help section on Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/help/125379114252045and a big hat tip to my buddy Hugh Briss for this news!!

Please do share these updates with your community - thank you kindly! 

Mari Smith - with Saikat Maity.

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