Let’s talk about Facebook ecosystem

Stefano Maggi
2 min readJan 3, 2018

The Facebook ecosystem has evolved deeply since the acquisition of Instagram and WhatsApp. In the beginning, Facebook tried (with success) to stimulate people to watch, comment, take part, create casual or structured content all on the same platform. Simply because the “main destination” was about all Facebook had.

Today it’s an ecosystem, and the effect of this can be seen in the experiences it makes possible. Now, the design of Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger and Facebook itself encourage more specific types of behavior depending on which one people are using.

People contribute to this system with both their attention and their content (both relevant for brands who want to take part to the conversation).

Three main areas are becoming more distinct:

. Content creation: the tools for people to create content are available on every platform, but it looks like today Instagram is the most effective tool for casual creation (stories) and structured creation (feed posts)

. Content discovery: feed has become a tool with much focus on content fruition for people, less for casual creation (think about the not-so-successful “stories in feed” experiment by Facebook)

. One-to-one and small groups dialogue is focused on Messenger platforms (both Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp)

If this segmentation remains as it is or strengthens, the implication for brands are very important: the selection of the best platform by a brand must take in consideration not only where people are, but also what people use the specific platform for. For instance, news feed is great to reach people with relevant, timely, targeted creative content, while Instagram stories and feed can be excellent if content creation by people is the objective, or if the type of content created by the brand is visually remarkable for people. Direct interaction can happen on all platforms, but best tools are now in Messenger.

‪This mapping is about people usage: brands and media use platforms for different purposes, complimentary to how people use the channels. Facebook, for instance, is excellent for structured content creation and publishing‬ for brands.

There are a lot of relevant products in this ecosystem: groups, events (local), bots, live, games, Oculus, marketplace, Facebook Stories, WhatsApp Stories, Mssenger Stories, and much more. By the way, the main “products” used by people seem to outline some polarization in the experience design of Facebook ecosystem. Time will tell if this trend will strengthen and the correlation between task and platform become more apparent. In the meantime it’s very important for brands to always start from people behavior on the platform: it’s not enough to ask “do they use this channel?” as first question, but rather consider “what do they use it for?” as a creative primer when it comes to translating strategy into communication planning.

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Stefano Maggi

Social + creativity, running, stories, change • We Are Social • Lecturer @ IULM University