RIGHT before our eyes, we saw how Covid-19 shifted a majority of our daily life to some form of digital platform.
In a previous interview with Ingenuity Chief Executive Officer John Naranjo, he said one of the evident changes brought by the rapid digitalization was video conferencing. While video conferencing is nothing new, it has become more common nowadays.
“Free or low-cost video conferencing has allowed everyone to work together while being physically separated. Government agencies have been able to set and move policies forward, students have been able to attend classes, doctors have been able to see patients at reduced risk to themself and others, and many businesses have been able to maintain some level of operations,” he said.
We also saw how with a few taps on our smartphones, we are able to have grocery items and food delivered right at our doorsteps.
The financial sector is also going digital with transactions that can be done through their mobile apps that we can download on our smartphones. Now we can transfer money, pay bills, buy load, and invest just by a few taps.
In less than a year, the rapid digitalization of society has led people to seek convenience more, being able to participate more through social media, and finding a community in the digital sphere.
According to Facebook’s Emerging Trends Research, around 84 percent of Filipinos are expecting that the demands on their time will increase in the near future. This means they will be doing more things in the limited time they have in a day.
Among those surveyed, 71 percent said household chores take up most of their time, followed by researching purchases (69 percent), shopping for daily necessities (54 percent), doing administration tasks (35 percent), and making offline payments (30 percent).
“What we are seeing is that because of this burden on time, more and more people are increasingly willing to pay in order to save time,” John Rubio, Facebook Philippines country director, said during the Facebook Emerging Trends and State of Small Business Media Round Table on April 13, 2021.
Facebook Research showed that around 95 percent of Filipinos surveyed “are actively looking for ways to simplify their lives.” Of this number, around 93 percent “would pay for products or services that save them time.”
The study also revealed that 87 percent would pay for “products that free up their mind” and 93 percent consider convenience alongside price when deciding what to buy. Around 92 percent think that social media platforms have made life more convenient.
Once they are able to free up more time, the survey showed that 77 percent of the convenience seekers want to spend more time with their loved ones, 70 percent get more exercises, 79 percent want to learn a new skill, 72 percent want to travel more, and 47 percent want to give back.
“People are finding themselves in an increasingly paradoxical situation: They’re looking for ways to reclaim their own time, while simultaneously facing increasing demands for their attention, both personally and professionally,” Facebook said in a statement on January 14, 2021.
Rubio said many of the companies that are winning in the digital shift are those who are able to provide the convenience the consumers are looking for.
“Ninety percent wish it were easier to shop on mobile. Let’s say you have a shop on Instagram, are you available to chat when someone has a question about the product that you just showed?” Rubio said, adding that businesses who are able to make the experience for their clients easier are the ones that win.
He added, “People want what they want when they want it, and how they want it. The winners are the ones that are able to do that.”
Facebook saw an increase in the number of individuals and businesses to reach out to one another.
“More and more we are seeing even in this environment is an actual increase in how people use our platform, whether it’s, for example, Facebook, Instagram, Messenger. Because of that more and more of those people that we have surveyed are wanting to interact with shops, brands, and companies digitally online,” Rubio said.
Facebook’s Emerging Trends Research shows that 87 percent of the people they surveyed said: “social media has allowed them to interact more and deepen their relationship with brands.”
“Part of that, I guess, is just the reality of, if you are not able to physically go to a mall as much as you could before or to physically go to a store, you’d still want to interact with them and on what better way to do that, today, than in digital,” Rubio said.
He said customers are now able to know about companies or brands and their products through videos online or interact with the companies through direct messaging.
“Eight out of 10 people in this environment have shown that they are more open to new types of shopping. So whereas before the traditional way is that you went to a store…, what we have seen in the last year is this habit has been broken and people are experimenting it more and more formats,” Rubio said.
The change in the way customers shop also led to the growth in a new type of shopping — live shopping.
“When we talked about live shopping, what it is, for example, someone on Facebook live showing the actual wears… but it could be anything for example like talking about clothes, trying on stuff,” Rubio said.
The research showed that 25 percent have tried live shopping in the last year while 85 percent said they expect to increase their live shopping in the coming year.
Rubio said live shopping is a trend that originated in Southeast Asia. The research showed that the Southeast Asian where people live shopped the most was in Indonesia wherein 38 percent of those surveyed have browsed live shopping. It is followed by Thailand (38 percent), Vietnam (34 percent), and the Philippines (25 percent).
“[It’s] a very Southeast Asia thing where we like to interact with a product that is [presented] live… With this interaction, you are able to tap into this new market and this new buying behavior,” Rubio said.
He added there is “a massive amount of stickiness” in live shopping. This means eight out of 10 of those who have gone live shopping will go back for the next month and buy from it again.
“Not only live shopping is becoming an interesting discovery platform for many users, but it’s also becoming a consistent thing where people, once they experience, want to come back for more,” Rubio said.
He said in elevating a live shopping experience, businesses are encouraged to be more interactive like responding to comments. The convenience the business can offer to its viewers can also help improve the live shopping experience.
“You want to make things more convenient. How do you make sure when people get excited about your product, you can actually sell them and you can ship it really quickly,” Rubio said.
Rubio said data from the study shows that what they found eventually lead back to digital gathering.
“Community remains as important as ever, but how people are building it is evolving rapidly, creating new paths to finding a sense of belonging. New technologies are enabling meaningful digital gatherings, amplifying opportunities for people to connect over passions and issues across borders and cultures,” Facebook said.
Research data revealed that over 800 million users on Facebook are part of over 35 million active groups.
“With everyone now interacting over digital, it’s interesting that when we surveyed people, 82 percent of Filipinos are a member of an online community and they expect, like everyone else, their engagement to increase more in the future. So a lot of things are happening in [digital] communities,” Rubio said.
He said nine out of 10 people surveyed want digital communities to be built. Through the digital communities, individuals and local businesses are able to come together to help and support one another.
In Davao City, the Kaon ta Bai! community highlights local restaurants and food businesses while Support Local Davao (SLD) is a group where micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) can post and promote their products and services. Consumers can also be part of SLD to look for products they need to buy or suppliers they can buy from.
“I think that’s the power of community in the Philippines where we are such a community-based nation,” Rubio said.
The digital transformation has opened new opportunities for businesses and customers.
“It has led to a significant growth opportunity for businesses and provided consumers with opportunities to purchase an expanding range of products from a large number of suppliers, at lower prices,” Philippine Institute for Development Studies (Pids) President Dr. Celia Reyes said on March 11, 2021, during the webinar on Digital Platforms.
Pids stated that according to the Asian Development Bank study titled Asian Economic Integration Report 2021, “an expansion of 20 percent in the Philippine digital sector from the 2020 baseline by 2025 could result in an additional output of US$37.6 billion and create 2.2 million new jobs a year.”
“Technology is helping to forge new global linkages, which offer enormous economic opportunities, but also present new risks and challenges,” said ADB Chief Economist Yasuyuki Sawada.
“It is imperative to implement policies and regulations that manage the disruptions and maximize the gains from the burgeoning digital economy, and to lock in these gains through enhanced regional cooperation,” he added.
Introducing Facebook Graph API v18.0 and Marketing API v18.0
Today, we are releasing Facebook Graph API v18.0 and Marketing API v18.0. As part of this release, we are highlighting changes below that we believe are relevant to parts of our developer community. These changes include announcements, product updates, and notifications on deprecations that we believe are relevant to your application(s)’ integration with our platform.
For a complete list of all changes and their details, please visit our changelog.
Consolidation of Audience Location Status Options for Location Targeting
As previously announced in May 2023, we have consolidated Audience Location Status to our current default option of “People living in or recently in this location” when choosing the type of audience to reach within their Location Targeting selections. This update reflects a consolidation of other previously available options and removal of our “People traveling in this location” option.
We are making this change as part of our ongoing efforts to deliver more value to businesses, simplify our ads system, and streamline our targeting options in order to increase performance efficiency and remove options that have low usage.
This update will apply to new or duplicated campaigns. Existing campaigns created prior to launch will not be entered in this new experience unless they are in draft mode or duplicated.
Add “add_security_recommendation” and “code_expiration_minutes” to WA Message Templates API
Earlier this year, we released WhatsApp’s authentication solution which enabled creating and sending authentication templates with native buttons and preset authentication messages. With the release of Graph API v18, we’re making improvements to the retrieval of authentication templates, making the end-to-end authentication template process easier for BSPs and businesses.
With Graph API v18, BSPs and businesses can have better visibility into preset authentication message template content after creation. Specifically, payloads will return preset content configuration options, in addition to the text used by WhatsApp. This improvement can enable BSPs and businesses to build “edit” UIs for authentication templates that can be constructed on top of the API.
Note that errors may occur when upgrading to Graph API v18 if BSPs or businesses are taking the entire response from the GET request and providing it back to the POST request to update templates. To resolve, the body/header/footer text fields should be dropped before passing back into the API.
Re-launching dev docs and changelogs for creating Call Ads
- Facebook Reels Placement for Call Ads
Meta is releasing the ability to deliver Call Ads through the Facebook Reels platform. Call ads allow users to call businesses in the moment of consideration when they view an ad, and help businesses drive more complex discussions with interested users. This is an opportunity for businesses to advertise with call ads based on peoples’ real-time behavior on Facebook. Under the Ad set Level within Ads Manager, businesses can choose to add “Facebook Reels” Under the Placements section.
- Re-Launching Call Ads via API
On September 12, 2023, we’re providing updated guidance on how to create Call Ads via the API. We are introducing documentation solely for Call Ads, so that 3P developers can more easily create Call Ads’ campaigns and know how to view insights about their ongoing call ad campaigns, including call-related metrics. In the future, we also plan to support Call Add-ons via our API platform. Developers should have access to the general permissions necessary to create general ads in order to create Call Ads via the API platform.
Please refer to developer documentation for additional information.
Deprecations & Breaking Changes
Graph API changes for user granular permission feature
We are updating two graph API endpoints for WhatsAppBusinessAccount. These endpoints are as follows:
- Retrieve message templates associated with WhatsAppBusiness Account
- Retrieve phone numbers associated with WhatsAppBusiness Account
With v18, we are rolling out a new feature “user granular permission”. All existing users who are already added to WhatsAppBusinessAccount will be backfilled and will continue to have access (no impact).
The admin has the flexibility to change these permissions. If the admin changes the permission and removes access to view message templates or phone numbers for one of their users, that specific user will start getting an error message saying you do not have permission to view message templates or phone numbers on all versions v18 and older.
Deprecate legacy metrics naming for IG Media and User Insights
Starting on September 12, Instagram will remove duplicative and legacy, insights metrics from the Instagram Graph API in order to share a single source of metrics to our developers.
This new upgrade reduces any confusion as well as increases the reliability and quality of our reporting.
After 90 days of this launch (i.e. December 11, 2023), we will remove all these duplicative and legacy insights metrics from the Instagram Graph API on all versions in order to be more consistent with the Instagram app.
We appreciate all the feedback that we’ve received from our developer community, and look forward to continuing to work together.
Deprecate all Facebook Wi-Fi v1 and Facebook Wi-Fi v2 endpoints
Facebook Wi-Fi was designed to improve the experience of connecting to Wi-Fi hotspots at businesses. It allowed a merchant’s customers to get free Wi-Fi simply by checking in on Facebook. It also allowed merchants to control who could use their Wi-Fi and for how long, and integrated with ads to enable targeting to customers who had used the merchant’s Wi-Fi. This product was deprecated on June 12, 2023. As the partner notice period has ended, all endpoints used by Facebook Wi-Fi v1 and Facebook Wi-Fi v2 have been deprecated and removed.
API Version Deprecations:
- September 14, 2023: Graph API v11.0 will be deprecated and removed from the platform
- February 8, 2024: Graph API v12.0 will be deprecated and removed from the platform
- May 28, 2024: Graph API v13.0 will be deprecated and removed from the platform
- September 20, 2023: Marketing API v14.0 will be deprecated and removed from the platform
- September 20, 2023: Marketing API v15.0 will be deprecated and removed from the platform
- February 06, 2024: Marketing API v16.0 will be deprecated and removed from the platform
To avoid disruption to your business, we recommend migrating all calls to the latest API version that launched today.
Facebook Platform SDK
As part of our 2-year deprecation schedule for Platform SDKs, please note the upcoming deprecations and sunsets:
- October 2023: Facebook Platform SDK v11.0 or below will be sunset
- February 2024: Facebook Platform SDK v12.0 or below will be sunset
First seen at developers.facebook.com
Allowing Users to Promote Stories as Ads (via Marketing API)
Before today (August 28, 2023), advertisers could not promote images and/or videos used in Instagram Stories as ads via the Instagram Marketing API. This process created unwanted friction for our partners and their customers.
After consistently hearing about this pain point from our developer community, we have removed this unwanted friction for advertisers and now allow users to seamlessly promote their image and/or video media used in Instagram Stories as ads via the Instagram Marketing API as of August 28, 2023.
We appreciate all the feedback received from our developer community, and hope to continue improving your experience.
Please review the developer documentation to learn more.
First seen at developers.facebook.com
Launching second release of Facebook Reels API: An enterprise solution for desktop and web publishers
We’re excited to announce that the second release of FB Reels API is now publicly available for third-party developers. FB Reels API enables users of third-party platforms to share Reels directly to public Facebook Pages and the New Pages Experience.
FB Reels API has grown significantly since the first release in September 2022. The new version of the APIs now support custom thumbnails, automatic music tagging, tagging collaborators, longer format of reels and better error handling.
FB Reels API will also support scheduling and draft capability to allow creators to take advantage of tools provided either by Meta or by our partners. Based on the feedback we received from our partners, we’ll now provide additional audio insights via the Audio Recommendations API and reels performance metrics via the Insights API.
Our goal in the next couple of releases is to continue to make it easier for creators to develop quality content by adding features like early copyright detection and A/B testing. We’re also excited to start working on enhanced creation features like Video clipping- so stay tuned to hear more about those features in the future.
If you are a developer interested in integrating with the Facebook Reels API, please refer to the Developer Documents for more info.
Not sure if this product is for you? Check out our entire suite of sharing offerings.
Tune in to Product @scale event to learn more about FB Video APIs and hear from some of our customers.
First seen at developers.facebook.com
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