When I first heard of Facebook’s plans to change their news feed design, I have to admit my initial reaction was “Really? Again??” But after taking a closer look at the changes, I must say I’m completely turned around: the news feed actually looks better, slicker, less cluttered and most important of all, there are some great implications for businesses.
You can expect the new design to come to desktop Facebook and smartphone apps as well pretty soon.
In other news (this time that you might not have heard), Google+ also announced some changes, even before Facebook’s presentation. But it seems like everybody forgot about them, and Facebook really stole their thunder. Among the changes are larger cover images and a “Local” reviews tab as well as the option to highlight reviews and favorite restaurants. Not very big changes, but I’m sure that if it were Facebook instead of Google+, everybody would be talking about it!
But let’s get back to Facebook! The news feed will see quite a few changes – all in an attempt to create the “best personalized newspaper”, as Zuckerberg put it. Facebook is in a difficult place at the moment: it’s attacked from one side by investors who want to see more money and from the other side by users who are annoyed with ads and by businesses that are annoyed with “promoted posts”. So we will have to wait and see if the new news feed is really the “best personalized newspaper” for the users and a new source of income for the investors at the same time.
There are several major changes to the news feed:
The visual aspect is more important than ever in the new news feed. Photos and videos will be much larger, so they will definitely catch users’ attention. There will also be a photo-only news feed, that will showcase Instagram images and Facebook uploads alike.
The ‘personalized’ aspect means that users will actually be able to choose what they want to see. On the right hand side there will be a list of different feeds that users can access. For example, apart from the photo feed that I mentioned earlier, there will be a music feed where you can see what friends are listening to and a games feed among others. The ‘newspaper’ aspect, on the other hand, means that news feeds will feature longer texts, not just short excerpts, and more articles etc. that are of interest to individual users. Here is what the games feed could look like:
Design & layout
There are some dramatic changes to the design of the news feed, and I have to say they are quite welcome! It seems like they took inspiration from other social networks, such as Google+ and Tumblr, as well as from their own Facebook smartphone app, when they designed the news feed. The new design is slick and cool, and it’s less cluttered (which was definitely a problem with the old design). Instead of the usual three columns, there are now only 2, which means that the news feed will take up more space than it used to. As I mentioned earlier, this will mean bigger images and videos and longer text. So now you might be wondering, “where are my apps??” The list is still on the left hand side of the screen, don’t worry, but it looks better and take up much less space. In the new design, it is a vertical black bar that will pop out when hovered over with the mouse, which is quite similar to Facebook’s smartphone app.
Here’s an example of how the news feeds could look like after the update on desktops and smartphones:
How will these changes be affecting users and businesses?
Firstly, it looks like the reader’s experience will be greatly improved when these changes are implemented. People have already complained that ads will now probably be much bigger (and therefore harder to avoid). But let’s focus here on what truly interests us all: how will the changes to the news feed affect the way businesses can socialize and promote themselves on Facebook?
Fortunately, it seems that there will be some great opportunities:
For those of you who use the ‘promoted posts’ feature, great news: since the news feed column is larger, promoted posts will take a large proportion of the users’ screens, making them unavoidable. It will definitely be much easier to get the posts noticed, since they will probably be the biggest items on people’s screens.
This is probably the best news for businesses. One of the news feed filters that users can choose from is called “following”. Users will be able to see all of the posts from the pages and public profiles they’ve liked.
Profile Picture/Cover Image
Apparently with the new design, whenever someone likes your Facebook Page a big chunk of your cover image as well as your profile picture will appear in that users’ friends’ news feeds. So make sure you are prepared and have an amazing, eye-catching cover image! Here is what it will look like when a user friends someone:
As I said earlier, visuals will play a major part in the new Facebook design so make sure you upload amazing, funny or interesting images. This way you can get into different filtered news feeds, your posts will be bigger and you will be able to increase your engagement.
Overall, I am quite excited by the changes. There will be some great benefits to both users and businesses, and I am sure that businesses should see a rise in their Facebook engagement if they use the social network right. If you want to get the new news feed as soon as possible, then make sure you get on the waiting list here
What do you think of Facebook’s latest changes to the news feed? Do you think that businesses will see any benefits? Please leave your comments, I would love to hear your opinions!
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