On 10 September 2019, Facebook posted a blog about new features for public figure pages of the platform. The update aims to help public figure pages to reach new audiences, engage with fans, earn money, and receive protection from abuse.

Reach New Audiences

  • Collaborative Stories

The social media platform is testing having multiple public figures contribute to one Facebook Story for special events. For example, they had over 20 artists contribute to a collaborative story for a dance music festival in Belgium this July. This allowed exposure for many of the artists to people not following them yet.

  • News Feed Exposure

Public Figure pages are also tested to appear on the News Feeds of users. Users will discover profiles of Public Figures on their newsfeed based on people users follow and content engaged.  

Engage Fans with Fan Reply Stickers for Stories

Public Figures using Facebook Stories can use Fan Reply Stickers to engage with fans. These interactive stickers make users do an action or to respond to the image. For example, some stickers can ask fans to share a photo or to post a comment.

Earn Money

  • Swipe-up Links to Stories

More updates in Facebook Stories for Public Figures allow the use of Swipe-up Links. This allows users to just swipe up in stories and this will lead them to products and other content.

  • Tag Products in Facebook Stories

Another similar update in Facebook stories for Public Figures is tagging of products in stories. Currently, tagging of products are available only in photos and videos. With the new update, this function will be available in stories as well.  

  • Checkout from Facebook Ads

A checkout system is also being tested to enable the users to checkout products that they want to buy from Ads in the News Feed. This allows users to complete purchases within Facebook. 

  • Facebook Stars for Video Creators

Finally, the Facebook Stars feature, introduced in June 2018, for gaming creators will now be available to all video creators. Facebook Stars features allow users to buy packages of “stars” for videos they are viewing. The creator receives $0.01 from Facebook for each star purchased.

Protection from Abuse

  • Expanded Policies

Policies protecting younger public figures now covers all public figure pages protecting them from bullying and harassment.

  • Comment Ranking Updates

Displayed comments on Public Figure Pages are chosen based on rank depending on relevance and quality. Facebook highlighted the comment ranking update from June, which applies to Public Figure Pages. Comments that violate community rules are removed.

  • New Help Center Page

Facebook launched a Help Center Page that provides information to all users on how to spot report suspicious accounts or interactions. More updates are being developed to further distribute this information especially to people who had contact with suspicious accounts.

  • Dedicated Reporting Flows

This function enables users of the Facebook platform to report accounts of people pretending to be public figures.

  • Fan Accounts vs Official Accounts

Facebook is developing tools to make it easier to distinguish official accounts from fan accounts. There have been some instances of fan pages posing as official accounts of public figures. Facebook has also developed a technology that automatically restricts confusing fan pages. The restrictions are easily removed once the admins of the pages clarify the legitimacy of their fan page.

Public Figure Pages is becoming an important aspect of the Facebook platform as it creates a unique online space for users and fans to interact with public figures they admire and follow. It also presents great potential in commercial use and networking. People are looking forward to more updates to make the experience more engaging and secure for everyone.

Implications for Brand Marketers

Using the updates on Public Figure Pages presents several potential uses for marketers. 

Easiest would be to use the new updates to interact and engage with Public Figures. However, it would be difficult to stand out if the public figure has a large following. Choosing the right ones to engage with is crucial to produce the targeted marketing outcomes. 

Next, would be to have an influencer or key opinion leader (KOL)   to come on board as a brand representative or endorser.  Influencers help create impact on Facebook because of their significance and relevance. Influencers or KOLs can also leverage the brand on the social media platform. Marketers however should take caution in collaborating with an influencer or KOL and ensure research and thorough planning is done. .

Lastly, would be to build your public figure. It can be the CEO of the company or even a mascot. The point is to have someone who truly represents the company and can truly relay the message of the brand. With the new updates rolled out, having a public figure will optimize the use of a public figure page and the many features it provides. 

Overall, the Public Figure Pages is another means for marketers to engage and interact with potential clients and create fans of the brand. Effectively using the many features available on the platform will enable marketers to create more leads and build a brand presence that is authentic and meaningful. 

Sources:

https://www.adweek.com/digital/public-figures-on-facebook-are-getting-a-host-of-new-features/

https://www.facebook.com/facebookmedia/blog/new-features-for-public-figures