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Why Facebook’s New Video Conferencing Tool Is Different

Video conferencing has been instrumental in keeping small biz owners and their teams connected while working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, throughout. However, some business owners are still struggling to find a reliable and secure tool that’s also easy to use. 

As many business owners are still reluctant to use Zoom, I already gave my personal recommendation as an alternative, which is completely free to use with 100 persons in one call – Google Meet.

Today, I want to introduce a brand new video conferencing tool that has been rolling out globally with some really cool bells and whistles that Google cannot offer, especially if you run a lot of your business’s social media components on Facebook. 

Facebook’s Brand New Messenger Rooms

Yes, Facebook’s brand new Messenger Rooms have become an instantly popular choice for video conferencing among over 2.5 billion monthly active FB users for obvious reasons. However, it’s also quite a lucrative option for business owners who run a Facebook page or group and organize their events via Facebook events; to connect with their audience. (not necessarily their internal teams). 

Messenger Rooms is inherently a video chat room where you can converse with up to 50 people at once. Depending on your room settings, participants won’t need to download, log in to or connect on Messenger to join your video call.

You can create/use Messenger Rooms via Facebook Newsfeed, Facebook Messenger, Messaging feature on Facebook, Facebook Groups & Facebook Events. Here’s how Messenger Rooms work on each of these.

How To Use Messenger Rooms

From a business owner’s point of view, here are a few ways how you can use Messenger Rooms to create a deeper connection with your audience;

  1. Easily convert your small-group Offline events into Online events, without a third party tool. For larger events, you can still use FB Live – this cannot be gated.
  2. Run workshops, training and other small group classes pretty much like a real classroom but online.
  3. Closed group product launches, surveys and other ways of feedback from small groups of customers. As it’s a small group, these are highly manageable and the discussion is two-way, as compared to FB Live which is a one-way communication.
  4. Pre-event activities for smaller groups. Early-bird ticket holders etc to give your audience an added reason to join your paid events early..

Messenger Rooms via Different Platforms

Messenger And Messages on Facebook

When you create a room from Messenger or Messages on Facebook using one of these two settings:

  • People with the link: Anyone with a link can join your room even if they don’t have Facebook or Messenger.
  • Only people on Facebook: Only people who have a Facebook account can join your room.

Facebook Newsfeed

You can create a video chat room for your Facebook News Feed. When you create a room on Facebook, you control who sees your room in News Feed by choosing who to invite.

  • Friends: All your friends can see and join your room on Facebook.
  • Specific People: You choose who to invite and whether to allow invite link sharing. When you turn on invite link sharing you can invite more people, including people who aren’t your friends, or who don’t have Facebook or Messenger.

Facebook Group

You can create a video chat room in your Facebook group, which everyone in the group can find. You can also add link sharing to your room to invite more people.

Keep in mind, the person who created the room has to be present for the call to start. If you’ve enabled link sharing for your room, someone you didn’t invite may join your room even if they aren’t a member of the group or on your friend list.

Group admins can delete or not allow rooms in the group. Also remember, Pages that are members of a group can’t create or join rooms. Only FB profile users who are members of the group can (if allowed by group admins).

Facebook Events

You can create an online Facebook event with links to a Messenger Room, third-party apps and more.

If you’d like guests to be able to invite others to your online event, enabling link sharing next to Guests can invite friends. Enabling link sharing for your event means that guests can invite others to the online event, including people who are not Facebook or Messenger users.

You can also select ‘Link’ when you’re creating the event, to add a link to third-party apps such as Zoom or other type of online webinar/event link outside of Facebook. If not, select ‘Other’ and provide the specific details on how people can attend your event online. 

Privacy Settings 

Keep in mind, the following privacy settings apply for Messenger Rooms

  • Once the call begins, Messenger Rooms can be locked or unlocked
  • The room creator can add or remove participants anytime during the call
  • Participants can join or leave the room any time during the call.
  • If you have blocked someone on Facebook or Messenger they won’t be able to join a room you create and you won’t be able to join theirs if they are logged in to their Facebook or Messenger account.
  • These video chats are not end-to-end encrypted.

How #SmallBiz owners can use Facebook’s brand new Video Conferencing as a social marketing tool 👇

Check out this growing list of FREE tools, services, and resources offered in support of small businesses facing the COVID-19 global crisis. 👇

Disclaimer: I don’t have any affiliation with the service provider at the time of publishing this post.

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9 Key Takeaways From The First Keynote At Social Media Marketing World 2017

social media marketing world 2017

I just got back from attending one of the biggest social media marketing conferences on the planet Social Media Marketing World 2017; a couple of weeks ago. I must confess that I’ve been dying to attend this conference for the past 4 years and I finally made it this year! Also, according to them, I’m the first Srilankan to attend this massive conference, so YAY for that!

The event comes on top of probably every blog post out there that tells you which are the best SM conferences to attend this year. The event takes place in the beautiful city of San Diego, California every year. SMMW17 website says that some of the recognized brands that attended this year’s conference include Apple, Cisco, CBS Interactive, IBM, Deloitte, Hilton, Humana, Macy’s, Mayo Clinic, McDonald’s, ReMax, Reuters, Sprint, Toyota, the United Way, UPS, WalMart; to name a few. It also says that people from Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter and other platforms also attended.

120+ Sessions in 3 Days – Totally Worth It


The 3 days of the conference was packed with 120+ sessions. These included 4 Keynotes, multiple sessions on  Content Marketing, Corporate Social, Measurement & Analytics, Social Strategy, Social Customer Service as well as Tactical sessions on the major social networking platforms. They also included multiple Workshops and’a Creator Series’on the topics of Live Video, Blogging, Podcasting, Video & YouTube.

If these details make you kinda wish that you too could have had the opportunity to attend the best social media marketing conference of the year, you still have the chance to catch up on all of these sessions with the virtual ticket to the SMMW17 conference which is still available at the time of publishing this blog post. You can purchase it here at a cost of $697. And no, I’m not getting a cut out of this! lol, I just think it was truly worth it.

If you’re also interested, next year’s conference will be held on February 28th, March 1st, and March 2nd and the tickets are already available at a discounted price  Also, next year they will have two different ticket categories – All access ticket and Creator ticket. If you ask me, would I be going again? Absolutely!

Key Takeaways

social media marketing world 2017

On this post, I really would like to share the key takeaways from the first keynote of the event – Social Media Marketing in 2017: What the Newest Research Reveals By Michael Stelzner. Mike is the founder and CEO of Social Media Examiner, founder of the Social Media Marketing Society, and author of the books Launch and Writing White Papers. He also hosts the weekly Social Media Marketing podcast and the Social Media Marketing Talk show.

During his keynote, Mike revealed the hottest trends in social media based on the brand new research they did with the participation of over 5,700 marketers from all over the world. This survey is the 9th edition of their annual Social Media Marketing Industry Report.

The most interesting insight from this survey is that Facebook is the most important social network for marketers as. 62% of those who took the survey have revealed that Facebook is still the most important social media marketing platform for them. Back in 2016, only 55% have said the same thing.

Also, Facebook is updating the News Feed algorithm and marketers are finding it difficult to get around it. In fact, 54% of marketers who took part in the survey had agreed that Facebook’s algorithm has decreased their News Feed exposure in the last 12 months. Only 4% have disagreed with this while  42% were actually clueless about this.

Facebook is Running Out on Ad Space?

Not so long ago, Recode published an article that Facebook says it’s running out of places in the News Feed to show people ads. The consequence of this would obviously be that it’s going to be more and more difficult for marketers to get their content in front of their audience organically.

What is also interesting is that based on the survey, 42% of marketers who’ve said they were uncertain if Facebook’s algorithm has decreased their News Feed exposure, have also said that they post 7 times a day on their Facebook page. Also, 74% of the same audience had said they will be INCREASING their post frequency in future.

Meanwhile, out of the 54% who’ve said they DID see a decrease in their News Feed exposure – are currently posting 8 times per day on their Facebook page and 64% have said they plan on increasing their post frequency as well! Is this the right thing to do?

Less is More for Facebook Algorithm

Mike says, increasing your post frequency is NOT the answer to this and that with the Facebook algorithm – less is more.

Mike’s Advice to Marketers

SMMW17 Mike Stelzner

So what should you as a marketer do, to beat Facebook’s algorithm game and get your content in front of your audience? Here’s Mike’s advice in a nutshell:

  1. Number 1 key to beating Facebook’s algorithm game right now is with Live Video
  2. Refocus on community development. Influencer marketing anyone? In general, as a brand, be helpful to your community and customers
  3. Stop worrying about the big numbers. They won’t make much of a difference
  4. DO advertise on Facebook. But only do so with highly targeted ads so that you don’t have to spend a fortune on them
  5. Instagram is HOT. And you need to get on it! However, you need to work on your content game
  6. Your content must be visual
  7. Messaging is the future. You need to learn how to, in terms of bots and ads
  8. Create Amazing Content (Yes, content is STILL King! LOL)
  9. Make blogging part of your content creation

Details of the Keynote

If you’d like to know details of this keynote, in terms of market insights along with why these are important steps and exactly what you can do as a marketer to include these key points in your social media marketing game this year; let me know and I’ll do another post on the details.

I’d also love to know what YOU think about the above steps and if you would actually implement them in your action plan this year. If so, which of them would be most important to you and why? Do share your thoughts with me in comments below. Also, if you disagree with these ideas or have any questions with regard to them, I’d love to hear from you!

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Facebook Home Is In Sri Lanka – Have You Got It Yet?

facebook home

I was waiting to download Facebook Home on 12th April as was announced by Mark Zuckerberg but was disappointed when it said ‘not available in your region’ on Google Play. However, this morning my boss said it was finally available on Google Play so I quickly downloaded it to try it out. At first I was a bit confused as to how I was supposed to get out of the Cover Feed and get to my apps. After playing around it for a few minutes I figured it out and quickly fell in love with it.

I love the big images that slide over my screen. I like this better than live wallpapers or other image based wallpapers because these are not just images, they are images from my friends or form the brands I like and follow and each image has a story or a message for me to follow up with.

I also like the fact that I can easily interact with notifications. For the past few months I’ve neglected so many notifications – literary hundreds of them because I don’t want to distract my work-time with Facebook (ironically, thought I HAVE TO BE ON Facebook almost all the time when I’m at work). So this app gives me an easier way to access Facebook on-the-go when I have small pockets of time to ‘waste’ on Facebook.

So yes, so far I’m in love with Facebook Home and I wrote this other post on the Loops Solutions blog – check it out. Maybe some of you are indifferent towards it altogether and couldn’t care less. But don’t judge until you download and try it for yourself. Unfortunately this app is only available on certain mobile phones such as Samsung Galaxy S III, Galaxy Note II, HTC One X and HTC One X+. If you have one of them, lucky you!

I’m curious to know how many of you love this app and how many hate – and of course WHY? So, try it out and let me know what you think. Post a comment here or on Loops blog.

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Do you want your Facebook Page – Cover Image done for FREE?

Just a few more days until all Facebook Pages will get a new design. Facebook says that on March 30, 2012 they will be enforcing the new Timeline format on all pages – regardless of whether you have already switched to the new format or clueless about the whole thing and still on the old format.

So, how many of you Page-admins out there are ready for this change?  Have you already changed your page to the Timeline format and published? Maybe you’ve reluctantly converted to the new format but not quite happy with how the whole cover image and the profile image combination looks on your page. Or you don’t have a nice image to put up there at all…

What ever the situation you are in, I’ve got GOOD news for you! The Srilankan social media company Loops Solutions has volunteered to help out absolutely anyone who wants their cover page done – That is, Loops will create a cover page for your Facebook Page, absolutely FREE!

How’s that for a deal? And no strings attached, what so ever. They have just taken it up as a fun thing to do and in general,  just to help out the social media community. If any of you want to make use of this crazy opportunity, email them at or visit their Facebook Page and ‘message’ them.


(Disclaimer: I work for Loops Solutions and I’m the head of social media)

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Facebook Timeline for pages and brands has launched!

Almost immediately after “Timeline” for personal profiles were launched, it had been guessed, predicted and prophesied that Facebook would be launching Timeline for Pages. Over the past couple of months, it was rumored that D-day was 29th February, the leap day, the day of the first ever Facebook Marketing conference or fMC – as Facebook likes to call it. And the rumor worked out to be true after all, because Facebook Timeline for pages are HERE!

That’s right! But, at this point, only page admins can view the Timeline. Here’s what it looks like when an admin first walks into the page:

New Facebook Page layout activated from 30th March 2012 - Notice to Page admins

When you click on the blue-color “Preview” button, this is what you get to view:

New Facebook Page layout activated from 30th March 2012 - The initial look

You can read-up on this in detail on Mashable – here. Also, don’t miss this interesting post on AllFacebook.

I’d love to walk you through the “Tour” but I gotta go for now, since I’m planning on watching the fMC live, in about an hour and a half (at the time of writing this post). Facebook will be starting the livestreaming of this much awaited event at 1pm ET or EST (If you’re watching from Sri Lanka, it should start around 11.30pm). If you want to watch, just click here, to go to Facebook’s special site set up just for the fMC.

Time permitting, I’ll add some photos from the tour, but let’s discuss more about Timeline for pages, after the conference.

Au revoir!


Must thank Shazly for sending me the google-chat update about this, which I saw on my phone while I was on my way home from work! 😀

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Why you should activate the new Facebook profile setting – the “Facebook Timeline”

You can love or hate or just be ‘meh’ over the new changes on facebook profiles that were launched during the last week’s f8 developers conference (go ahead and click the link if you’d like to see the recording). But instead of waiting around for the automatic update of your profile from the old to the new – Timeline profile, it would be a good idea to activate the new Timeline now.

Here’s what mine look like:

Although you won’t get to see it on my profile just yet!

Why should I activate my facebook profile to the new Timeline? I already hate it!

Well, whether you and I love it or hate it, Facebook is going to activate it this week. When you activate the new timeline, Facebook says:

Welcome to Your Timeline – Developer Release
Your timeline currently features your top photos and posts. Right now, only you can see what’s here. Take a tour and star, hide or add whatever you want. Then click Publish Now or wait until your timeline goes live on Thursday, September 29, 2011.

So, unless you are planning on abandoning Facebook and deleting your profile altogether or something, my humble opinion is that you should activate the new Timeline now! So that you can check on what’s visible and what’s private and be comfortable with your profile before Facebook activates it on the 29th. Continue reading Why you should activate the new Facebook profile setting – the “Facebook Timeline”

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Srilanka’s Perera and Sons become active on Social Media

It was just yesterday that I noticed Perera & Sons had started following me on Twitter!

Perera and Sons on Twitter?

I didn’t even know that Perera and Sons were on Twitter before, so I started following them (@pereraandsons) back. Curiosity got the better of me so I asked them a question. An hour or so later, they managed to get me into their conversation. It wasn’t just me, quite a few Tweeps were tweeting about how not only Perera but his sons were also following them! lol

During the conversation with “Perera and his sons” that went on till late into the night, they promptly announced that they will be getting on FourSquare and will be doing some interesting promotions, starting with 15 pre-decided outlets.

Lucky for me, who pass by the Thalawathugoda and the Kotte outlets of the franchise almost daily – it seems that those two outlets ARE on the initial list. Continue reading Srilanka’s Perera and Sons become active on Social Media

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Have you seen the “Best Practice Guide” by Facebook?

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...
Image via CrunchBase

Facebook recently published a 14-page PDF document called “Best Practice Guide – Marketing on Facebook” that contains some valuable insights into reaching your business objectives on facebook.

I personally hunt for information like this on various websites and blogs that are dedicated to educating readers, how to do their business on Facebook. So this guide coming from Facebook itself, should contain accurate and precise information for the business community.

Taking a sneak peak into the guide, here’s what you can find :

  • The Facebook ecosystem – Build, Engage, Amplify
  • Five guiding principles
  • Facebook by Objective
  • Helpful resources

Having read the above, I’m sure you want to get your hands on the whole guide right? CLICK HERE to download your free copy.

Let me know if this was helpful for your business and share with our readers, your own “best practices” through your experience (leave a comment).

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Facebook changes AGAIN! – This time, its “Pages”

Here we go again! Yup, Facebook did another major faceoff (while you were sleeping last night) and this time, its the “Pages“. So what have they done? And what does it change for you and me? Well, if you are not a Facebook Page admin or a page owner, it’s no biggie. It’s just that the “Pages” are going to look and feel more like “Profiles“. But if you’re a Page admin, there are some pretty big changes that you should learn and adopt yourself and your Page/s to, before Facebook makes the changes default on 1st of March. Until then, you have the option of going ahead and doing the change yourself or leave it as it is.

Here are some of the significant changes that Facebook has listed out for you on “Tour the changes” :


Just like in your Profile, the most recent photos that you post to your Page‘s Wall or photos that you tag your Page in, will be features here.

Continue reading Facebook changes AGAIN! – This time, its “Pages”

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The U.S. Government takes Facebook Seriously

In an interesting new move, the US government has deiced to partner with Facebook to let users receive AMBER (America’s Missing Broadcast Emergency Response) Alerts via the social networking site. The move teams up Facebook with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the Department of Justice and the Virginia State Police in the United States.

The announcement is made as the United States commemorates the 15th anniversary of the abduction and murder of 9-year-old Amber Hagerman, for whom the AMBER Alert is named. Continue reading The U.S. Government takes Facebook Seriously