If you’re in the business of marketing or advertising then the word ‘content’ is one you’ll be well acquainted with (maybe even a little tired of). Love it or loathe it, operating as a brand in digital demands you need a steady stream of quality content to engage your audiences. Think of it as your ticket to brand engagement; without consistently great content, your brand is going nowhere in the digi/social space.

So, as clients and advertisers search for evermore efficient and creative ways to produce quality content for their brands, it should come as little surprise (and some relief) that Facebook is coming to the party too. And three of its recent product developments certainly have piqued our interest at Y+S with the possibilities they serve up for us and our clients alike.

360° photos and video Since its inception, Facebook posts have only allowed for static images. Not anymore. Facebook now lets you upload full 360° photos and video directly into post as you would a normal photo. Once uploaded, viewers are free to navigate the content themselves using their mouse, by moving their mobile screen around to change the view, or through a VR headset if the media supports it. Of course you need a 360° camera to film that sort of content in the first place. But at its simplest, navigable photos can be created simply by uploading a panoramic shot from your own photo library. Like to see an example of what’s possible? Check out our recent work for Wither Hills.

(Please note that Facebook 360° video is not available for iOS. For iOS users, we’ve provided a YouTube link instead. Android and web users can view Facebook 360° here.)

Canvas A single post can only carry so much information. Canvas changes this equation dramatically. After clicking on what appears to be a standard Facebook post, Canvas opens up (within the Facebook environment) and delivers an experience akin to a microsite. You can add scrolling, motion, video and text along with CTAs (taking you out of Facebook). And building a Canvas is a simple, drag-and-drop affair using a templated module. It’s super simple to do, delivers a slick and polished experience, and is of particular interest for clients who typically require customers to access content through an age gate (i.e. alcohol brands). As a person’s age is already established on Facebook, a Canvas allows those brands to deliver a richer experience without requiring people to visit a specific, age-gated site. Take a look at an example of a recent canvas we created for Johnnie Walker.

Livestream Along with 360° photos and video, Facebook has devised another ingenious way to turn the humble image into something much, much more. Introducing Livestream. And it does exactly what its name suggests. You can literally stream a live video feed straight into a Facebook post for anyone to see. Of the three products, Livestream was initially the most challenging for us to apply. If used as originally released, a Livestream had to be sent from a mobile device, which meant substandard production and video quality (from a brand perspective). But the promise of a better experience was too great to pass on, so our very clever Y+S dev team figured out how to plug in an entire video editing desk into the API. And that means here at Y+S we can now use multiple cameras, high quality audio and full video production. See for yourself what’s possible with some recent work we made for our good friends at Smirnoff.

Whatever your brand or product, however you’re currently engaging your friends, fans and customers through digi/social channels, it’s reassuring to know that the platforms we operate through are also stepping up to the plate to help. And these new products, along with many more like them, are making it easier than ever before for brands (and clever ad agencies) to create and deliver amazing online experiences. Need a steer on what’s possible for your brand? Drop us a line at Y+S. We’d absolutely love to show you what’s possible.

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