On the 4th of April, Facebook launched an amplified mobile version of its social network in a risky bid to take over of a new generation of smartphones.
At Facebook HQ in California, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced a software system designed to take over Android phones by pushing Facebook messages, photographs and updates directly to users' home screens.
It's called 'Facebook Home' - and the new system would be the ''Best version of Facebook there is" according Zuckerberg.
During the press conference Zuckerberg also revealed a partnership with handset manufacturer, HTC, which has already developed a phone with the software built into it.
The family of apps will display mobile versions of the Facebook news feed and message service on the home screens of users' phones. The software, which will initially be available only on selected Android handsets, removes the need to switch to a dedicated Facebook app by integrating the social network's features into the 'heart' of the device.
HTC's chief executive, Peter Chou, described it as "the ultimate social phone." It will be 4G-compatible, have a screen larger than the iPhone at 4.3in, and be sold first in the US on the AT&T network for $99.99. It will be available through the EE network in the UK at an unspecified date.
Facebook is sprinting to keep up with the habits of its 1 billion monthly users, 680 million of whom now access the network from a mobile device. Shares in Facebook climbed 2% to $26.83 immediately after the announcement and interestingly shares in Google, their key industry rival, slipped 1.5% to $793.81.
Industry onlookers appeared impressed by Facebook's next step into mobile. "I think its pretty slick. It gives you instant access to your social context. It'll make your mobile device a more enjoyable experience; it'll be much easier to respond to messages. It's all right there on your fingertips," said Brian Blau, research director at Gartner, an information technology firm.
Now is the time more than ever to start mobilizing your content...
The main thing businesses need to focus on is posting with images. It's a different economy compared to traditional 'link bait' when it comes to Facebook; it's a visual economy.
On Facebook photos and videos perform best for likes, comments, and shares as compared to text, and links.
This is especially true for mobile users they are less likely to read lengthy articles on-the-go and Facebook's algorithm generally is optimised to keep people on the social network rather than linking off, so photos tend gain more traction. This statement will be even more valid as Facebook's news feed change take affect to all users with the inclusion of photo only feeds.
Social media management tools can help streamline the process of posting photos that can contain Call to Action (CTA) links in a bid to generate exposure whilst gaining a steady stream of views on a particular page. It's important to ensure there is a healthy mix of images both with CTA links and pure images with text captions that can be used to build brand awareness.
Don't forget videos! Certain tools enable to you easily select videos directly from your channels for quick posting. This has the added benefit of being set as an embedded player so content can be easily shared, like and commented on.
Visual content drives engagement. In fact, just one month after the introduction of Facebook timeline for brands, visual content - photos and videos - saw a 65% increase in engagement.
Measure your results
Set up a queue that contains sets of images for the week ahead, with captions and CTA links. Head over to reports and track the progress of your individual queues. Evaluate your clicks, reach and engagement. Evaluate your results and adjust your content accordingly. For content achieving high levels of traction you may then consider using Facebook's Promoted Posts to boost your reach even further.
Posting visual content with captions is vital when posting on Facebook. The move for social giants to integrate with hardware is a growing trend. Google + 's inevitable incorporation in Google Glass may seem leaps and bounds ahead of Facebook who are only just now entering the mobile arena. Any direction with an aim to reaching engaged individuals at multiple locations whilst they are on-the-go, be it a hand held communication device or a 'futuristic cyborg head mount' both are definitely a step in the right direction.