Tuesday, 16 April 2013

The New Facebook News Feed: Bigger and Better

Facebook is about to throw you for a loop, again.

Yesterday, the social network announced another new update to the news feed – your home page when logged into Facebook. This is the first big update Facebook has rolled out since Facebook Timeline launched in 2011. Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, sees the news feed as “the most personalized newspaper,” evolving with users and the way we are sharing content. The more relevant news feed gives us more information and more to do within the Facebook walls. If you are anything like me, you check Facebook a few (ok, multiple) times a day and scroll through your feed until you hit a post or two that you have already seen; then you move on to the next web page or activity in your day. Now, when you hit the end of interesting posts in one feed, you will have another feed to explore. Facebook is going to keep us engaging on the site longer.

So, what’s new?

Bigger Images
Everything is bigger, but a main focus of the new redesign will be on images, link posts, and videos – both from users and brand pages. Facebook and Instagram images, which consist of 50% of shared news feed content, will now be larger and more appealing. There will also be a separate feed showcasing only the posts that have photos.

Multiple Feeds
Speaking of separate feeds, there will now be multiple feeds available for users to toggle. Facebook users will now be able to subscribe to specific feeds: all friends, close friends, music, photos, news, games, and brand pages. For example, the music feed will show what music friends are listening to on apps like Spotify and Rdio, concert updates, news from artist pages, and album releases. There will still be a chronological main news feed – where brand page posts will still remain.

Mobile Consistency
One important aspect of this new Facebook look will be that it is even more mobile friendly. The new look was largely inspired by our increased use of different mobile devices. According to Facebook, the site has seen a large spike in mobile engagement recently with more than 680 million monthly active mobile users. This means that no matter what device you are using to pull up Facebook in a browser, the look will be consistent – similar to what we currently see when we use Facebook from a smartphone or tablet application.

Bigger, More Prominent Ads
The new redesign should open an opportunity for advertisers to serve ads similar to the rich media units they are used to on other websites. We will most likely see brands take advantage of offering big pictures and videos, a feature that hasn’t been provided to brands yet. Ads will blend in more with the content our friends are sharing, making them less annoying and more likely to encourage engagement. They will also likely cost a lot more. Everybody wins.

Want the new look? Get in line. Check out the information Facebook has shared on the new feature, and join the waiting list.

Are you going to embrace the new look? Let us know your thoughts.

Carly is an Account Manager at 435 Digital and manages the day-to-day responsibilities associated with running successful SEO and social media campaigns.Previously, Carly managed media campaigns for Tribune Media Group’s New Business Development & Cross Platform Team. Those campaigns incorporated a combination of newspapers, magazines, TV, radio and online advertisements.

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