Content RadarYou may be preparing for a long weekend full of football, family and turkey, but just remember that while you are relaxing, the world of content marketing continues to turn. Of course, you can be thankful that we are here to help. Check out the content marketing news you can be grateful for this week.

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This Facebook study will convince you to use direct messages in your marketing efforts.

In a just-released study, the Facebook Messenger team details some of the not-so-commonly known facts about direct messages and how they impact how we communicate with one another. Though direct messages have traditionally been sent peer to peer, the last couple of years have shown us that direct messaging is a more valid form of communication for marketing than most marketers ever expected.

Take a look at some of Messenger’s key findings and consider how they relate to your marketing efforts:

Messaging is growing more quickly than any other type of communication.

Forget the fact that text messages have been around for years, the increase of direct messaging options in apps has caused a direct messaging boom in the last couple of years. In fact, in a study of the top five communication channels, direct messaging increased more over the last two years — a full 67 percent — than any other communication types. This list includes social media (48 percent), email (47 percent), video chat (47 percent) and face-to-face conversations (38 percent).

Facebook Study Direct Messages

Messaging allows you to communicate to consumers in a new language.

Like it or not, the recent increased use of GIFs and emojis has essentially created a new visual language that allows people to communicate in ways that words don’t necessarily allow. Lest you think this is true only for millennials, think again. A full 77 percent of digital device users age 55 and older use emojis and 53 percent of that same audience uses GIFs.

“Perhaps the most significant advancement in restoring social intimacy back to our everyday communications is emoji,” Eboticons founder Tracey Pickett said during a TED Talk earlier this year. “Not only are emojis becoming part of our everyday vernacular, they’re starting to fill the gap left by [a lack of] facial expressions.”

People are messaging more than ever.

More than two-thirds of people say they are messaging more now than they did two years ago. In fact, messaging is becoming so prevalent that half of those surveyed say that messaging has replaced other prior forms of communication for them.

This is just as true for businesses as for individuals. On Monday, Nov. 20, Facebook Newsroom published a blog post showing that a Nielsen study indicated that “67% expect to message businesses even more over the next two years. In fact, in 2017 alone over 330 million people connected with a small business on Messenger for the first time.”

Facebook Study Direct Messages

If you are not engaging with customers through direct messages, you may soon find yourself in the minority.

Messaging allows people to communicate with you in more authentic ways.

It may seem counter-intuitive to refer to digital communication as “authentic,” but Facebook’s study found that messaging allows for the removal of some filters that exist in face-to-face conversations. The study claims that people are “bolder, more impulsive and more honest” when they send direct messages. A full 66 percent of people who message say that they have “more authentic conversations.”

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Facebook has combined Messenger Day and Facebook Stories into a single feature: Stories. Perhaps the most interesting part of this for marketers is that Stories is also opening up to pages, groups and events; thus extending the potential reach for these types of messages.

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Snapchat has announced it is redesigning its app — just after announcing news of a disappointing third quarter that saw the app fall further behind Facebook and Instagram. The redesign, which Snapchat hopes will bring in new users and shore up advertisers, could be released as early as this December.

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Facebook now lets publishers know the top pages that shared their videos. In a new dashboard, publishers can not only see the pages that shared their videos — but can also see the number of video views and post engagement that came from the shares. The dashboard also shows the average watch time on the shares.

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In an attempt to lure more influencers to it, Facebook has rebranded its “Mentions” app as the “Creator” app. The app includes a “Live Creative Kit,” a unified inbox, stories and camera, and analytics. Any individual profile or page can utilize the app.