"We have been working for some time on creating little bits of experiences for people for them to share and experience the product that we’ve been creating," Briggs told Mashable. This is about how Facebook, as a brand, shows up in the product. Starting Tuesday, all Facebook users—whether they like it, or not—will see on the top of their News Feeds posts prompting them to "Share a Card." Image: FACEBOOK The Goodwill Team The post might look simple, but each individual project and the overall initiative has been quite the investment for Facebook. Trial, Error These experiences at the top of News Feed have been part of a longstanding program Facebook's been testing on and off since 2014, but, Briggs said, "last year is when we started to ramp it up." One of the first projects was Year In Review videos from December 2014, but they drew distaste from the Facebook community. And, the last thing, if you don’t want to share it, don’t share it," Briggs said. "We wanted to be careful for how it would be received so we just shipped it to the United States," said Molly Shah, a product marketing manager at Facebook. Events, Power, and Scale By creating events, Facebook does more than simply service its users (and convince them to engage with the social network more). And Facebook wouldn't want it any other way.
Facebook knows it’s got your attention. Every day, over a billion people check the site, thus contributing to its multibillion dollar revenues. Facebook doesn’t want you to forgo experiences in the real world, however. It’d be quite beneficial to them, in fact, if you went to something, then posted about it on Facebook.
In November, Facebook showed a message at the top of users’ News Feeds telling them not to miss the supermoon, a time where the moon was the closest it will be to Earth until 2034. It wasn’t the first time Facebook told its users of a big event, and it won’t be the last.
For 2017, Facebook is introducing more ways “to share and communicate about events and moments that are happening in their communities and around the world,” says Gary Briggs, Facebook’s chief marketing officer, in a blog post Tuesday.
“We have been working for some time on creating little bits of experiences for people for them to share and experience the product that we’ve been creating,” Briggs told Mashable.
But why’s Facebook’s CMO fielding questions about, um, Facebook’s product?
Because this project is marketing. It’s Facebook speaking to you—they don’t just want to connect you to billions of other people. They want Facebook to be a resource in and of itself. At a time when people (especially younger users) are looking to other apps, it’s crucial for the social network to continue to find ways to stand out, attract attention, and now, appeal to users—not just through new product developments but new developments in their brand’s identity, too. It’s something they might benefit from. After all, this is a brand about to turn 13 years-old. How much do you know about it?
While you know Facebook for highlighting the anniversaries of friendships you forgot about, Google’s been celebrating Kurt Vonnegut, Nettie Stevens and Prince, by inspiring people to visit the homepage of Google.com since the launch of the Google Doodle in 1998.
Meanwhile, Facebook’s favorite company to copycat has quickly risen to fame, prominence, and general Cool-Kid Status partly by exciting people with a lifestyle brand it’s never been reluctant to assert. Snap Inc., from its home on the beach in California, touts an immediately iconic ghost mascot, sells sunglasses from twee anthropomorphized robots, and has been sending fun video messages from Team Snapchat to its community via the app since way back in 2013.
The current challenge for Facebook, then, is clear.
“It’s brand, marketing, communications. This is about how Facebook, as a brand, shows up in the product. You can see that in the tone and manner and what we do with the artwork. We do see this in essence as part of marketing. How does Facebook represent itself?” Briggs said.
Creating Facebook’s Voice
Part of the continued rollout of events involves Facebook further defining its style and individuality to the world—the brand’s attitude towards people has simply, for the most part, been an incredibly neutral one. Now Facebook’s looking to add more depth to that.
“I think we have a better understanding now of: What’s our voice?” Briggs said. “What’s our tone? Artistically, what’s us? What should we show up for? And what do people really respond to and want to share with one another?”
The latest example is a holiday card. Starting Tuesday, all Facebook users—whether they like it, or not—will see on the top of their News Feeds posts prompting them to “Share a Card.” After clicking on the prompt, they can swipe through 18 different graphics that they can then share on their own timelines or to friends.
The Goodwill Team
The post might look simple, but each individual project and the overall initiative has been quite the investment for Facebook. The group at Facebook responsible for the program is called the Goodwill team. They oversee several projects across the network, including birthdays, Friends Day and anniversary videos and On This Day, when Facebook will surface memories to users.
“Facebook has been so good for so long at being a really effective utility for people to connect with people they care about, but there’s a certain point where we thought that we wanted to start seeing how do we come forward with more of a voice,” said Alicia Dougherty-Wold, content strategy lead at Facebook.
“With the holiday card experience in particular it’s kind…