Facebook: Listening to consumers and moving at the speed of innovation

By: Patrick Harris, Director of Global Agency Development, Facebook

Just a few weeks ago, I traveled to Asheville, North Carolina for the iProspect Client Summit. I was invited to host a fireside chat session and Q&A, moderated by Jeremy Cornfeldt, President, iProspect US. Attendees at the annual event included iProspect clients, media partners and the industry’s foremost thought leaders. 

I discussed how Facebook has transformed in the last 18 months.  Most notably, we are no longer in the social metrics business, measuring success with fans, likes and engagement.  We are now in the business outcomes industry, capable of accounting for every dollar spent on our platform to determine exact sales impact. 

I also answered questions from the audience about Facebook’s improved search capabilities, future live streaming potential, our Instant Articles platform, Facebook’s Atlas and more.  

Then, I touched on three things rapidly happening in our space:

The shift to mobile has happened. A few years ago, the massive shift to mobile caught all of us by surprise. We had to pivot the entire company to be mobile-first.

Today, in 100 countries around the world, there are more mobile connections than people. And, there is a 95% year over year growth in mobile phone usage. We are seeing a tremendous shift that is not slowing down any time soon.

There is a proliferation of single use apps.  On average, most of us have 30 apps on our phone. This is true across all ages and demographics. People want a very specific, highly personalized app experience.  And they want apps that perform incredibly well. That’s why we separated Messenger from the primary Facebook app. 

Consumers increasingly express intent visually. One of the biggest consumer insights we’ve observed over the last year is the significant impact sight, sound and motion has on the news feed. The “Ice Bucket Challenge” was monumental because it stirred a global phenomenon that motivated people who had never shot, recorded and uploaded a video to Facebook before. And we’ve seen how on mobile, particularly, native ads are starting gain in prominence. I believe video will start to gain momentum as well. Brands should invest in mobile video.