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Another week, another update to Facebook. Seems like Mark Zuckerberg and his team have been pretty busy these past few months, working on various ways to tweak and improve the user experience on the social media site. This Thursday the company plans to unveil yet another change to their platform, with very little specific available at this time. However, before we get to that, let’s take a few minutes to highlight the most recent features new on Facebook.

1. Graph Search

If you haven’t heard by now, Facebook is slowly rolling out a search feature. Think of it like a highly customized Google-type search within the Facebook platform. Members will soon be able to query things like “Chinese food in Franklin” and pull up results based on user input. What user input? Likes, user engagement, Checking- In, etc all will come into play here.  For a more detailed run down on how this might look, see Raven’s recent post here.

2. Checking- In

Ok, this one isn’t exactly new on Facebook. Yet, many businesses are still overlooking this easy to use service. Having customers check-in while visiting your business automatically creates an activity in their news feed, which is essentially promoting your business. Since most of us tend to trust the reviews of our friends, we are more likely to try a place where multiple friends have “checked in” as opposed to the place with no Facebook activity.

3. Hashtags

Last week, Facebook announced that they too will get on board with hashtags. Like Twitter, Instagram, and Google+, hashtags can now be added to posts to link to other posts with the same content.  The biggest effect this can have for small business owners is the ability to get in on those conversations. With appropriate hashtags and quality content, consumers are also more likely to find your Facebook page now as well.

So, there’s the quick rundown of what is already new on Facebook. Thursday may bring even more exciting opportunities for business owners. There is a good chance the announcement is for Instagram video, much like the Vine on Twitter. While Vine is doing well for business on Twitter, Instagram remains a much smaller, specific market.

Could video help take Instagram to the next level for businesses? Give me your two cents at: Email Jenn.

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