The social media platform wars rage on, as engineers and developers break out the thesaurus – launching similar versions of the same features, with slightly tweaked titles.
This month, it’s Facebook’s announcement of Interest Lists. Interest Lists allow users to make mini-news feeds that include posts and content on a particular topic or subject. A great way to organize all those pages you’ve ‘liked’ or people you’ve ‘subscribed’ to.
Facebook says, “Interests feature public figures and Pages related to a particular topic, and are put together by people like you. The top stories from each interest appear in your news feed so you can scan interesting headlines or click through to read more posts.”
What’s interesting, is that, in addition to categorizing and organizing your own pages into Interest Lists, users can also set access rights – making their lists public, available for friends, or completely private. Even more interesting, is that Facebook has also begun a curated section with publicly available “Interest Lists” from industry leaders and leading sources such as news sources, technology, recipes and the like.
So what does this mean?
- Facebook is once again throwing down the gauntlet to Twitter and Google + and cementing itself further in the consumer’s mindset as a one stop shop for all types of content. While this service is similar to Twitter Lists, Facebook benefits from enhanced functionality (photos, videos, games, contests) and of course no pesky 140 character limit. And unlike Google + circles, Facebook comes at this with an already established 840 million strong audience.
- Brands continue to benefit from the changes at Facebook. The launch of timeline for Pages coupled with the Interest Lists make it increasingly attractive for brands to invest more time and energy into their presence on the social network. A brand’s inclusion in a popular “Interest List” will increase likes, traffic, exposure and engagement – delivering up a highly attractive audience on a very sticky platform.
- An opportunity for association and partnership? While “Interest Lists” are currently being targeted for private users only, Facebook has a history of a phased launch approach – are “Interest Lists” for Pages far behind? Imagine the opportunities for influencer programs, extension of brand identity and loyalty initiatives when that occurs.