3 Reasons Facebook’s F8 Conference Matters to Higher Ed

April 14, 2016

3 Reasons Facebook’s F8 Conference Matters to Higher Ed

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3 Reasons Facebook’s F8 Conference Matters to Higher Ed

Facebook held its annual F8 conference for developers on Monday, and there’s plenty for higher ed marketers to be excited about.

I know what you might be saying, “teens are abandoning Facebook and moving to other apps.” There’s truth to that, especially if the memory of the “mass exodus” in 2013 and 2014 is still fresh in your head. Articles like this, this, and this came out almost every week. But this is digital, and 2013 was like 21 years ago in internet years. A lot has changed for sure. Teens and their parents have adopted messaging apps in droves. But here’s the thing—of the top 10 messaging apps used frequently by teens, guess who owns 3 of them. Yep, Facebook. And they are about to capitalize on it in a big way.

Let’s break down three areas higher ed marketers can use this to their advantage.

In case you don’t have time to watch the entire keynote, here’s everything you need to know about F8 in 90 seconds:


Facebook is creating a one stop shop within Messenger (an app which 50% of teens say they use often). From getting news to booking airline flights, they’re creating a friction-free platform for communication. With app downloads continuing to decline, Facebook is banking on users seeking information within their ecosystem for their favorite content rather than downloading other apps or searching sites. Pretty smart, but I guess that’s why they are worth billions.

So what could your university do within Messenger? We’re not saying you’ll be able to spin up a Messenger chat bot tomorrow, but think of the possibilities. Instead of making them dig through pages on your site for the info they’re looking for, what if they could just ask through Messenger? They could schedule visits, appointments with advisors, find out students’ favorite spots to eat, you name it.

Facebook Live

We’re all pretty familiar with Facebook Live and its early possibilities. But the latest upgrades allow for great opportunities for almost all a college’s audiences – from prospective students to the most loyal alumni. First, you can broadcast from any device. If you thought campus tours from a tour guide’s phone was a decent idea, how about from a drone?

Instant Articles

You spent a lot of time designing and creating content for that really sexy landing page. It might’ve been the new Future Students page, a great alumni story, maybe a student profile. In any case, there’s a ton of great photography and finely crafted copy that you can’t wait to drive traffic to. Well now, instead of waiting for traffic to come to that page, you can drive that page to the traffic.

Instant articles is now open to everyone, not just giant publishers. They’re beautiful (assuming your content is beautiful of course), they’re fast, and they’re where your audience is living. This is a fantastic way for you to grow reach (and traffic) to the content that tells your college’s most impactful stories best.

So What’s it All Mean?

While you probably won’t go building a Messenger bot tomorrow, it’s not too early to start folding a few of these ideas into your college’s digital strategy.

Tell Us What You Think

Are you planning to use the new developments in Messenger, Live, and Instant Articles in your higher ed marketing efforts? We’d love to hear about it.

Header image credit- Buffer