Facebook’s news feed has undergone an overhaul, and most users are still on the waiting list to receive updates. While there have been mixed reactions from users, we examine some of the key elements from this update.
Navigation now will be collapsed on the left side, similar to how it appears on Facebook’s current mobile app. And much greater emphasis is placed on images. They will be displayed substantially larger in the news feed and will include titles or captions superimposed on the images themselves.
Stories about users’ friends adding friends and liking pages will appear in the news feed and will feature the cover image of that profile or page to give more context to the action and to gain the attention of other users.
Facebook check-ins now will appear as navigable maps of the location. Other layout changes include coming event displays and grouped display of popular shared content from other websites.
1. The Focus is now on images. The new look is a radical departure from the old news feed, in design as well as function. The focus on stories is much more visual, with greater emphasis given to images – which are now much larger.
Pointing out the benefits of the revamp, Harshil Karia, online strategist and co-founder, FoxyMoron, said, “With Facebook sharing increasingly becoming image and video-driven, it comes as no surprise that the visual elements have been brought to the fore with this redesign. Brand managers will have to now move away from the text-heavy phase to the image and video-driven phase, and come up with ideas to tell stories through images.”
2. Multiple Feeds is the other major differentiator from the previous version. Following the change, users now have access to more types of feeds and have more control over how those feeds are displayed. Users can subscribe to different types of feeds, including feeds from all friends, close friends, music, photos, games and those whom a user ‘follows’.
Calling it a process of ‘de-clutter’, Facebook’s user experience researcher Jane Justice Leibrock explained in a blog post: “A look at our data showed that the stories people click, like, and comment on the most are actually the very stories they said they wanted the ability to filter out: page posts, stories about songs and games, and stories friends liked or commented on. Since people were clearly interested in these stories, our task became figuring out how to display them separately from news feed, in a way that people would want to see them.”
3. Consistency on mobile platforms has also been taken into account with the new news feed. The new rollout takes significant cues from the social media platform’s mobile apps for phones and tablets, adding a new side navigation bar and more negative space.
4. For brands, the biggest advantage from the new change is that there is more real estate for in-stream ads. With the news feed emphasising on visual content like pictures and videos, it provides brands with the opportunity to get more creative with their posts.
Moreover, Facebook has also introduced a new feature that lets brands target users for status updates that don’t appear on their brand pages. The ads are part of Facebook Exchange (FBX), a system businesses can use to deliver ads to users based on their browsing interests.
A statement from the social network announcing the introduction of these ads said, “We wanted to give advertisers and agencies the opportunity to deliver highly relevant ads in news feed, the most engaging place on the web. Allowing advertisers to reach people in news feed is important because people spend more time in news feed than any other part of Facebook. We also believe that ads delivered through FBX will create more relevant ads for people. Introducing FBX in desktop news feed will not change the number of ads people see in their news feeds.”
Though Facebook’s design has been evolving over the years, not all changes have been liked by users. While the new news feed has not yet been rolled out to all users, only time will tell if all users will prefer the new look. However, looking at the changes, Facebook’s focus has clearly been on two things: mobile devices and advertisers.
What it means for..
- Create more visually appealing content for users' news feeds
- More screen space for advertisements as part of the news feeds.
- Focus on mobile interface helps advertisers.
- Suggest more conversatio inducing and visually attractive content for advertisers