Advertisers to get more options as Facebook today reveals major redesign
Instead of having a single newsfeed, Facebook users will see multiple feeds divided by categories that will include ones dedicated to photos and music. Other feeds could include “news,” videos and apps.
Larger images will feature heavily as part of the redesign, which are the first major changes made to newsfeeds since Facebook launched in 2006.
The new look will reportedly feature prominent tabs to allow users to easily switch between different feeds.
Facebook hopes that by introducing more feeds users will spend longer on the social network and in the process view more ads.
The multiple feeds will create fresh advertising opportunities allowing advertisers to choose where their sponsored stories go.
This will not only boost revenues, but will satisfy the long desired call by advertisers for more flexible options when it comes to their social advertising on Facebook. Allowing advertisers to use image based ads could dramatically increase visibility and engagement rates.
The changes confirm what Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook CEO, hinted at when he spoke during an earnings call with Wall Street analysts in January.
He said: “Advertisers want really rich things like big pictures or videos, and we haven’t provided those things historically.”
Until now Facebook has refused to budge on the ads issue. It launched Sponsored Stories two years ago and said it did not want to further disrupt the experience users had on the site.
However, after its rocky IPO, GM pulling its ads, and further questions about future revenues, it has faced growing doubts about the value of advertising on the network and has finally responded.
Karsten Weide, an analyst with IDC, said that Facebook had to “walk a fine line between the user’s needs and advertiser’s needs”. He added that advertiser needed “smarter, more flexible advertising formats”.
In January Zuckerberg also gave hints about today’s newsfeed announcement as he spoke about how Facebook’s feeds would evolve.
He said: “As our news feed design evolves to show richer kinds of stories, that opens up new opportunities to offer different kinds of ads as well…One of the product design principles that we’ve always had is we want the organic content to be of the same basic types of formats as paid content, right?
“So, historically, advertisers want really rich things like big pictures or videos and we haven’t provided those things historically. But, one of the things that we’ve done in the last year is you’ve seen the organic news feed product that consumers use moving towards bigger pictures, richer media and I think you’ll continue to see it go in that direction.
“And, I think that a lot of the success of products like Instagram is because of that. It’s a very immersive – even on a small screen, just – it’s a wonderful photo product.”
Facebook has declined to comment on the redesign, which will be announced at 1800 GMT at its Menlo Park headquarters.