The Future of Communication with Facebook’s Head of Marketing in North America



This event took place at Social Media Week in New York. You can get the SMW Insider Digital Subscription to access the full video of this event and 60+ other #SMWNYC sessions.


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At this morning’s first SMWNYC session at the TimesCenter, we heard from Michelle Klein, Head of Marketing for North America at Facebook. Michelle began her presentation emphasizing all of the technology at we possess at our fingertips, calling us almost superhuman.

She then presented us with some figures from today’s digital age: the average adult checks their phone 30 times a day, and the average millennial checks their phone more than 150 times a day.

What exists in our lives is a “sensory experience of communication that helps us to connect with others, without having to look away,” as Michelle explained. This is great for marketers, like herself. It gives them a million ways to connect with audiences.

Next, Michelle discussed how to use technology to benefit people and create the best communication. As she said, the best technologies include: “something that makes things better, connects people through storytelling, is immediate, expressive and immersive, and adapts and changes.” Michelle spoke about the apps she uses on a day-to-day basis, which make her life easier and better.

In terms of storytelling, Facebook enables people to share and connect, through viewing the narratives of each of their friends’ lives. She then mentioned how 6 out of the 10 most downloaded apps in the world right now are messaging apps.

These messaging apps, like Facebook Messenger “are real time, and now” technologies. Michelle then discussed the “expressive”, illustrating how images help us navigate the world and tell stories in a simple and fast way.

She quoted Darwin in her fourth point, discussing how the best technology constantly adapts and changes. She presented us with the example of Facebook in 2012, who noticed how most people accessed Facebook through their smartphones. So, Facebook decided to adapt and and change their entire company to fit the mobile platform.

Furthermore, she noted Facebook’s desire to adapt to the VR and AR technologies. Facebook believes this is the future of smartphones, and sees it as a new revolution in computing.

After her presentation, Toby Daniels, the Founder and Executive Director of SMW, spoke with Michelle on stage. She revealed some of Facebook’s newest initiatives, such as 360 cameras, live video streaming, and VR and AR hardware.

Addressing the advertisements on Facebook, Michelle noted: consumer experience comes first for Facebook, monetization is second. She said we can see this firsthand with Facebook’s Canvas, which gives us the ad experience, without actually feeling like an advertisement.

Michelle concluded her discussion with the quote, “only 1% of this journey is finished.” 4.4 billion people are still without Internet access. Facebook has only begun its journey to change the world.

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