With small businesses still struggling to cope with the compounding impacts of the pandemic, Facebook has announced two new initiatives to provide support for SMBs, and help them better manage their cash flow in their time of need.
First off, Facebook’s launching an expansion of its Invoice Fast Track program, which enables SMBs to apply for Facebook to buy up their outstanding invoices, providing immediate cash flow benefits.
As explained by Facebook:
“For a low, fixed fee, eligible businesses can get cash immediately for the goods and services they’ve invoiced their customers for but would otherwise have to wait months to get paid – time and capital they can now use to invest in the recovery and growth of their companies. We will fund up to $100 million in invoices on an ongoing basis and are operating the program in partnership with Supplier Success and Crowdz.”
Through the program, eligible businesses can submit their invoices to Facebook, which Facebook will then pay immediately. Facebook then notifies the relevant customers that they’ll pay the Facebook Invoice Fast Track program when the invoices reach term – so essentially, Facebook becomes a debt collector of sorts on the business’s behalf, while the business doesn’t have to wait around for the cash.
Facebook first launched the program with diverse suppliers last year, but from October 1st, more US-based small businesses will have the opportunity to apply.
Businesses can find more information on the program at the dedicated Invoice Fast Track mini-site.
In addition to this, Facebook’s also launching a new in-app application process for grant and loan opportunities, making it easier for SMBs to access resources and information.
As you can see here, the new resource showcase will highlight grant opportunities and business education programs, as well as SMB groups that can help provide guidance and support.
Facebook’s partnering with a range of ‘mission-driven’ organizations for the initiative, which are focused on providing resources to owners from underserved communities, in order to ensure that such opportunities are reaching those most in need.
Business Page Admins will be able to access this new experience on Facebook by clicking on Business Resources and Small Business Funding.
As per Facebook’s latest State of Small Business report, more than 60% of small businesses are facing some form of difficulty in paying business-related expenses, as the COVID crisis drags on, and while the end is now seemingly in view, it’ll still be too far off for many to remain in operation at the current impact rates.
Which makes sense – many SMBs are operating month-to-month, with their intake and expenses in fairly close alignment, so even short-term closures or business restrictions can have a big impact. And when you also consider that the vast majority of businesses are SMBs, that also points to the broader economic impacts, which will flow through to all organizations eventually, and cause revenue impacts for some time, even in the post-COVID environment.
Which is why funding and support initiatives like this are important, and it’s good to see Facebook looking to invest in this critical element, and provide assistance for smaller providers as they work to manage the ongoing impacts.
Watch the newest commercials from Apple Music, Facebook, Lexus and more – Ad Age
Today’s TV Ad Highlights
Data provided by iSpot.tv
Data provided by iSpot.tv, The New Standard for TV Ad Measurement
TV Impressions – Total TV ad impressions delivered for the brand or spot.
Est. National TV Spend – Amount spent on TV airings for the brand’s spots.
Interruption Rate – The percentage of devices that were present at the beginning of your ad but did not complete watching the ad. Actions that interrupt ad play include changing the channel, pulling up the guide, fast-forwarding, or turning off the TV. The Interruption rate is measured on a scale of 0 to 100%.
Attention Index – A comparison of your ad’s Interruption Rate against your specific media placement. The Attention Index is measured on a scale of 0 to 200, where 100 is the average and means your ad is performing as expected.
Engineering Professor Receives Facebook Award in Privacy Learning and Statistics | UCLA …
Suhas Diggavi, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering, has received a 2021 Facebook Statistics for Improving Insights, Models and Decisions award for his research on privacy in machine learning and analytics.
Facebook announced the research program in April at The Web Conference. UCLA is the only University of California campus selected among the 10 winners and 15 finalists out of 134 total proposals from across the globe. Diggavi received a $50,000 award to support his research on a machine learning technique, known as federated learning, which trains an algorithm across distributed edge devices housing local data that could be sensitive and need to be kept private.
Specifically, Diggavi’s winning research looks at privacy in personalized learning models. Most personalized technologies require multiple devices to analyze large amounts of data, which can jeopardize individuals’ privacy in the process. Diggavi hopes to find a way to ensure robust protection of sensitive data while also advancing individualized models. This award will help support a larger program in his lab focused on private, secure and efficient distributed learning.
Diggavi leads the Information Theory and Systems Laboratory at UCLA, where his research focuses on how information theory can be used across a multitude of fields, including learning, security, privacy, cyber-physical systems, wireless networks, bioinformatics and neuroscience.
Earlier this year, Diggavi was one of two UCLA Samueli professors to receive the 2020 Amazon Research Award. He was also awarded the 2021 Guggenheim Fellowship and the 2019 Google Faculty Research Award.
Sara Hubbard contributed to this story.
Introducing Facebook Graph API v12.0 and Marketing API v12.0
Today, we are releasing Facebook Graph API v12.0 and Marketing API v12.0. Below, we’ve highlighted changes that will impact parts of our developer community. These changes include announcements and product updates, reminders from prior launches, and notifications on large-scale deprecations that may affect your application(s)’ integration with our platform.
For a complete list of all changes and their details, please visit our changelog.
General Announcements and Updates
Conversions API: Expanding minimum callable version
Graph API Backwards Compatibility for Apps Created with One-Click Access Tokens Beginning with v12.0, newly created access tokens generated under the Conversions API settings tab in Events Manager are now supported by all available Graph API versions (see the supported versions here).
Please note that calls made with these tokens to a deprecated Graph API version will automatically resolve to the oldest available version. This behavior only applies to Graph API endpoints. Marketing API endpoints, including the Conversions API, do not support auto-upgrade behavior and will throw an exception.
User Profile API for Instagram Messaging: New fields
We are making enhancements to the User Profile API for Instagram messaging. Previously, User Profile API for Instagram supported two fields: 1) Name and 2) URL of the profile picture. In order to allow businesses to better personalize and prioritize messages based on publicly available user information, we have updated the API to also include following information:
1. Follower count
2. Verified Badge
3. Business follows User account [Yes/No]
4. User account follows Business account [Yes/No]
Please refer to the developer documentation for details.
Detailed Targeting New Opportunities
To help advertisers find additional opportunities that weren’t originally available to them, when advertisers leverage Detailed Targeting and optimize for conversions, value or app events using the conversions objective they will be automatically included into Targeting Expansion. For more information please refer to the Detailed Targeting Expansion Help Center article.
Video API: New fields
We have added two new fields, views and post_views, to the [Video] node. Please view the Video API developer documentation to learn more.
Deprecations & Breaking Changes
The Graph API and Marketing API default behavior is to throw an error when an app requests a field or edge on a node that returns an associated node or nodes, but lacks the appropriate permissions required by the associated nodes. However, a number of these fields and edges did not follow this protocol and instead were simply omitted from API responses if the calling app lacked appropriate permissions.
Starting with v12.0 these fields and edges will conform to the default behavior. This change will apply to all versions on December 13, 2021.
System users and app roles
We are deprecating the ability for system users to be granted roles on apps unless the users and the apps both belong to the same businesses. In order to prevent disruption to your app and business, we recommend that these system users be removed from your app and use the Business On Behalf Of API instead. This breaking change will go into effect on December 13, 2021.
We are deprecating the planned_start_time parameter within the Scheduling capability in the Live API and the breaking change will go into effect on December 13, 2021. A new parameter will be announced at a future date.
Messenger Platform: Conversation API
We are deprecating the user_id field from the thread metadata in Conversation API. All developers will need to migrate any references to user_id (IGID) and fully rely on IGSID as a primary identifier of a thread between the user and business.
This breaking change will go into effect on prior Graph API versions on December 13, 2021. Please view the Conversation API developer documentation to learn more.
Messenger Platform: Instagram Webhooks
We are making an update to our Messenger API for IG reaction webhook in order to better support emoji reactions. The current version returns the emoji field as a string – with this update, reaction webhooks will return a new unicode format. Note that the “reaction” field will only support the default emojis. For all other emojis the reaction field will return “other,” the same as MSGR.
This breaking change will go into effect on prior Graph API versions beginning December 13, 2021. In order to continue to support emoji reactions, all developers need to migrate to the new unicode we are returning by December 13, 2021. Please refer to the Webhook developer documentation for details.
API Version Deprecations:
- November 2, 2021: Graph API v4.0 will be deprecated and removed from the platform
- February 3, 2022: Graph API v5.0 will be deprecated and removed from the platform
- May 22, 2022: Graph API v6.0 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.
- Marketing API v10.0 will deprecate on 10/04/2021
- Marketing API v11.0 will deprecate on 02/23/2022
To avoid disruption to your business, we recommend migrating all calls to the latest Marketing API version that launched today. (Visit the changelog for more details).
Facebook Platform SDK
Native Offers Endpoint Deprecation
On June 8, 2021, we announced the deprecation of Offers Ads API. This will go into effect immediately with the release of Graph API v12.0.
Messenger Platform – Airline Templates
On June 8, 2021, we announced the deprecation of airline templates. This will go into effect on December 6, 2021.