iPhone users in the U.S. have already begun using Facebook Paper as an alternative to the typical way to access their Facebook accounts on a mobile device. The no-nonsense repackaging of a user’s news feed into full-screen content that is quickly navigated (and without any sidebar ads or recommendations) feels to many like the way Facebook ought to be.
Of course, like every Facebook update, it is often the businesses who are first to adapt to new layouts or features that reap the biggest benefits from them. So should your business be developing plans to utilize Facebook Paper as soon as possible? Is it going to negatively impact businesses? Or is this a non-issue altogether?
Does Less Adspace Mean Less Attention for Businesses?
Ask yourself when the last time you felt even remotely tempted to click a Facebook ad was. For most people, it might as well be a pop-under or banner ad – it’s just space needed to put more money into Facebook. And even though the capture rate for these ads tends to be extremely low, Facebook won’t be getting rid of them any time soon for this very reason – people keep trying.
The way most people interact with and are marketed to on Facebook is through brand connection; that is, by liking brands or by having their friends do so, content creeps its way into the news feed from time to time that may be of interest to each user. And when it is, they “like”, share, and in the best case scenario, they follow the page. Now they’re a member of a captive audience.
This kind of marketing is not going to be impacted by the changes in Paper, and perhaps could benefit greatly from it. Now as users are swiping from story to story, they’ll get a full-screen ad for your business, and they’ll be interested to read through with nothing else vying for their attention.
Early Adoption is Not Always the Solution
Many believe that like Facebook in its early stages, Facebook Paper is more of an experiment than something indicative of a finished product. There is speculation that in later updates, traditional ads will be supported as well, though how or even if that will be implemented remains to be seen. Sometimes the smarter course of action is to sit back and see how these things play out. People might never be using Facebook Paper by this time next quarter.
For those who have a lot of text rather than visual presentation, or those who tend not to be trendsetters even if they adopt best practices, Facebook Paper probably shouldn’t even be on the radar. If it becomes a big enough phenomenon, reaches other devices, or ultimately shapes the way Facebook is used on all platforms, then it may be time to revisit the issue.
It’s a Matter of Image
Facebook Paper is the hot new thing right now, with lots of buzz behind it. If your business is the kind that benefits from being among the first to try out new tech, then there probably isn’t any conceivable harm behind trying out a Paper-focused marketing strategy.
If your brand is more conservative, restrained, or just not a hit with the “brand new app” crowd, then give it time, see how things pan out, and check in every so often to see if it’s a good idea yet.
But if you aren’t even excited or interested in trying out Facebook Paper for yourself, there probably isn’t much of a reason your business ought to be.
About the Author: Russel Cooke is an online writer who spends most of his time researching and sharing new marketing strategies, unified communications, and branding methodologies with other businesses. He also often contributes to the blog of VirtualPhone-Number.com. He is honored to have had the opportunity to share his insights of what Facebook Paper may mean for business with 60SecondMarketer.com’s audience.