Facebook has developed a business manager of sorts which has been put into a focused release over the last week or so. However, there are concerns that this interface could directly compete with Facebook’s Preferred Marketing Developers, or PMDs, that have been serving the enterprises and agencies.
It’s a tricky line. Facebook has been known for developing tools designed to help small business and APIs build more powerful tools in order to help larger marketers. The Preferred Marketing Developers would then develop more effective tools in order to serve the enterprise level for social media publishing and so forth.
However, the new Business Manager developed by Facebook puts a lot of the interactivity that the PMDs would otherwise develop for free. In the past, larger businesses would have had to license a third party tool from one of Facebook’s PMDs in order to click through and compare thousands of ads and how they were performing, or track how their Pages and ads would perform in tandem, for instance.
With Business Manager, larger businesses can manage their Pages and ads within a single interface, as opposed to taking advantage of the services PMDs typically offered. Before, businesses were exceedingly worried about how to keep their personal and professional pages separate, so that resulted in a lot of fake Facebook pages being created, which was a distinct no-no. With Business Manager, there are no concerns about businesses seeing their personal pages being infringed upon, as the interface generally allows users to interact with the page and have management access so that you don’t have to friend the user in order to give them management access. In addition, there are centralized payment methods, so there is no waiting for the Facebook representative to switch funds between accounts that the business may have.
A Facebook representative says that the rollout of Business Manager was not a secret, but instead simply unannounced. The representative says that the idea is to have APIs add their own tools and interfaces onto the tool, as is frequently done with the ads API. Business Manager could be the impetus that developers need to push their innovative capabilities to the limit. Certainly, there may be further pressure from Facebook onto companies, as Business Manager puts them into direct competition instead of continuing to see them as partners, but this should really be seen as an opportunity for the PMDs to strive for further innovation and creativity.
It is possible that Business Manager is going to put a bit of a pinch on PMDs in the short term, due to the tool combining several things that PMDs did into one easy to use interface, but Business Manager should instead be seen as a more effective marketing tool for PMDs to build upon. Watch the video here