Facebook Popular Photos: Should affiliates get more visual?

In recent months, Facebook has been testing out a new feature: ‘Popular Photos‘. As the name suggests, this area of the website is more visual and less wordy.

Having concluded its trials, the social media platform confirmed that it’s analysing what worked and what didn’t. Going forward, further tests are planned.

So, does this mean that gaming affiliates should take a more visual approach to Facebook? Are words still powerful on this platform and if so, how? We’re going to look at that in this blog post.

Popular Photos: what does it consist of?

This new feature will allow people to scroll through a feed of images. It’s therefore different to the current way of viewing pictures, where they’re viewed at full screen and then put back into whichever post they were in. In effect, it’ll work similarly to how Instagram does.

Popular Photos will also, if all goes to plan, make news feeds less cluttered. This is because only the first 65 characters of captions are visible, before the rest is hidden behind a ‘see more’ tab. While Facebook hasn’t revealed why it chose to develop this, we can guess that they manage much of the clutter that exists on here.

So, should affiliates be looking to reduce how much they write on here? 

Let’s compare Facebook to other popular social media platforms for a moment. Instagram and Twitter are both streamlined. The former of these is mainly pictures and video, while the latter only allows 280 characters per tweet. Facebook, on the other hand, is more lenient with its character limits. Therefore, the other two platforms are more current and fast-paced.

The problem is that most of what people consume on Facebook is done via mobile. According to Statista, 96% of the platform’s users can be reached via a smartphone but only 25% use it on desktop. Some of those characters use Facebook for both mobile and computer, others just one or the other. And let’s face it, few of us are willing to read big blocks of text from a mobile screen.

If Popular Photos is fully rolled out, how can affiliates leverage this feature with success?

Using photos that are visually-appealing is key, but they need to tell a story through them. For example, is it possible to capture the reaction as you pick up an accolade at an awards night? You can even use pictures with text, as long as they’re relevant. In photography, a pretty picture isn’t also good unless there’s some context. That applies to using visuals for marketing, too.

Keeping in mind what we discussed about large blocks of text before, your captions for each picture should also be succinct. Ideally, you want to use as few words as possible. The image should tell much of the story, while the accompanying text should include some useful additional information and little more. This will enable users to consume your content, get the message and remember it later on.