Today in Ad Age, we illuminate Facebook Lite (with yet another light vs. darkness pun). Here’s the summary of our take on it (or, if you will, the Lite version):
- The downside: Brands get the short shrift here. Facebook Lite is a scaled down version designed for dial-up users to share updates with and read updates from friends. It’s not designed for applications or fancy ad units.
- The upside: Few people will probably use it. Some broadband users will say how much they love the simplicity, but the even safer bet is that dial-up users will miss some of the stripped out functionality.
- The other upside: Brands that update their status will still have those updates appear in Lite’s News Feed. We continue to recommend brands update their status on a regular basis in a way that provides value to their consumers. That idea holds true here.
- The next step: monitor Quantcast, comScore or other sources to see if traffic to Lite picks up. If it attracts a noticeable percentage of Facebook users, then it’s time to revisit it. The safe bet is that it will be too small to warrant a separate strategy.
In other news, Facebook is making a major change to how people communicate with each other and brands on the site. Mimicking Twitter, people will be able to use the “@” symbol to mention people and Pages with links going to them. This also applies to groups and events.
When someone mentions a branded Page with the “@” method, that message will appear on the Page’s wall. Read Inside Facebook for a detailed look at how this will happen. As this rolls out over the coming weeks, Page owners should keep their fans apprised of this feature as the added discussions can create far more community on the Page itself. Brands should also monitor if and how conversations evolve and increase due to this. It’s already clear that brands are a big part of Facebook users’ public conversations, so now brands will have more of an opportunity to listen in and potentially respond.