There have been a number of changes to Facebook over the past few weeks including a rather large update last night. I would like to take a few moments to look at how the Facebook updates affect real estate agents. For an introduction to using Facebook for Real Estate click here.
In what appears to be an answer to Google Plus, Facebook has made some changes to the list feature. You are now able to organize your friends into separate lists and each time you post you may choose which lists you would like to share your message/update with. This is very similar to Google Plus Circles (Our full explanation of Google Plus Circles for Real Estate may be found here) and drastically changes the comparison between Google Plus Circles vs. Facebook Friends. You are able to add the same friend to multiple lists so that if for example a co-worker was also a personal friend they would receive messages you share with both “work” and “friends”
Subscriptions appear to be Facebook’s answer to Twitter. You are now able to follow someone’s updates (assuming they are publicly shared) without having to become their friend. This is similar to how celebrities or news networks are able to be followed on Twitter without the need to follow you back.
The news feed works largely the same way as “top news” worked in the past. Your feed consists of “top stories” and uses an internal algorithm to determine what is important to you.
The news ticker seems to have replaced the “most recent” option for the news feed. All of the status updates, likes, updates, comments, friend connections and so on now appear on your ticker feed. This change seems to be in place as a way to keep a Twitter like feed going while at the same time avoiding the clutter that Twitter suffers from. This also helps to keep your relevant stories front and center while at the same time allowing you to keep tabs on everything that your friends are up to. By clicking on a message in the ticker you will see a pop up box with further details allowing you to quickly interact with that particular message.
There seems to be some early speculation that down the road we may see an update that further changes the functionality of the ticker as at the moment there isn’t a huge difference between what appears in your ticker and what appears in your news feed.
You may have noticed that photos are much larger in your news feed. This change seems to be mostly aesthetic.
The privacy settings have also undergone a change. The menus have been simplified down to main categories such as “Control Your Default Privacy”, “How You Connect”, “How Tags Work”, “Apps and Websites”, “Limit the Audience for Past Posts” and “Blocked People and Apps” with sub menus for each. I strongly suggest that you take a look as you may come across certain things you wish to adjust. For example, friends are now able to tag you at a particular location with them. Many people are not comfortable with informing the world of their current location. You may also set Facebook to require your approval when people tag you.
Profile Button Gone
At the top of your screen where the “profile” button used to appear has now been changed to your name. This isn’t a big deal as far as functionality but it probably helps to simplify the layout and remove confusion.
How Does This Affect Real Estate
If you are a real estate agent using Facebook for business these changes are important to understand. Because the option for “most recent” is now gone from the news feed it has become all the more crucial that your messages appear in peoples “top stories” or they will be quickly lost in the ticker shuffle. Be sure to interact with others on a personal level and do not simply advertise. If Facebook does not view your posts as important or relevant to others than very few people will get your message.
If you have been hesitant to start using Facebook for real estate business because you have personal friends and do not want to mix friends, family and clients into the same place you can now use lists to easily share information with the intended group without the worry of everyone seeing your message.
Our upcoming video series will be detailing how to implement the best strategies for using Facebook for Real Estate.
A Side Note
Some people were reporting that changing your language to English (UK) would revert back to the old layout. From my research, it appears as though that was temporary and no longer the case as many using English (UK) have reported that the new updates are in place.
As always all questions and comments are appreciated. Do you like or hate the changes? Please be sure to share your thoughts below.
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