New Features! New Video!

New Headaches, new rules, new workarounds?

Yesterday Facebook rolled out on the heels of its press barrage about Instant Articles, and all they portend for the blogging world another announcement too. Let’s not beat around the bush the Insta-Articles will probably benefit more the “content creators” types than the typical blog. Yet, they are working directly with WordPress on an open-source plugin which seems to put the weight of both behind something that means you should expect to be more stable & reliable.

Your Business Story_New Facebook Feature 02 (comp)

Your “Business Story” = slideshow video 

celebrating a milestone_FB Ad push

What is this 2006?

Not sure if they intended that response, but apparently this reveal at the top of my page promises a “video” which is from the accompanying explanation page, complete with three samples. All looking fake, and worse they look like they came out of a Facebook Template Factory that uses a particular type of Stock Photo. Like three interns went to Death of Stock Photo, and got a cross section, old white guys in a barbershop, two Black guys looking happy, and Intense Woman being creative:

In a few steps, make a video that tells people what your business brings to the world. Every business has a story. Let’s celebrate yours.

Create Your Video

The über-minimalist copy to let you know that you too can be hipster enough for these micromoments movement. Then they give us these three examples, all perfectly bland with their Helvetica white matching fonts clunkily slapped into the center like some YouTube captioning gone horribly wrong. Or what sprung to mind first was an app like blingee for Myspace.

But let’s talk about the cons of this pitch:

  1. The videos all display on this page in nice 16:9 format, but open in a carousel that plays them boxed in black, and decidely square.
  2. Then you can’t shut them as there isn’t an X to close this window, hitting the back button will take you back to your page. #MajorFail
  3. Yet, if you in an attempt to get out of this locked presentation click on the Facebook symbol it will actually take you to the video page where the video plays rather nicely in square format. Yet if you promote & use dollars to promote this it will show up in the newsfeed on Desktop and do the same black/boxy presentation. Further on mobile it might play nicely, and return to your feed properly, which I think is all they care about.
  4. They are rather slim on details, leaving you only with the call-to-action to create your own video.
  5. If you need to go back and edit (for any reason) the whole process by the third time feels entirely too tedious. No controls for line breaks, picture shifting, etc… You are only limited to photos previously uploaded to Facebook (which we might strenuously point out are almost NEVER square, unless you want to only use your low-res profile photos). In fact our best photos we had were our cover photos but they are all shifted to the right, to offset visually the profile photo. Hence they displayed terribly here.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Pros

  1. It’s Free.
  2. Fairly easy if very limited. 8 pictures, more or less 90 character tweet / tagline limit to text.
  3. There are clients we’ve worked with that this would definitely work for, who have zero budget for creating a video. Even with many free options out there for creating a bit more creatively similar option it requires time and energy most small business people just don’t have.
  4. It allows you (AFTER PUBLISHING) to customize the copy, location, tagline, and even include a link at the end to draw more traffic, signups, etc…
  5. You can make limited changes to the video itself; Thumbnail selection, and a very few other modifications
  6. Use Square Photos only, upload them in advance. Don’t just launch in like we did, you will probably love the ease.
  7. It will be native & probably be seen by followers of your page.

Our Test Videos Created:

Astound me: DAKrólak


Tell us what you think of this new feature, if you’ll use it, and any constructive criticism about the three videos we were able to create ~