Facebook has unveiled a major new look to its News Feed, the most significant change since the launch of Facebook Timelines, that it promises will reduce clutter and focus more on stories from friends and family.
As predicted advertisers also get more as the bigger images reported yesterday are set to be introduced.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the redesign of Facebook’s News Feed should make it function like a really good local newspaper.
“What we’re trying to do is give everyone in the world the best personalised newspaper we can.”
The redesign changes the way that users see news feeds and introduces four new kinds of feeds and as part of that a great emphasis is being placed on images, which get their own feed for the first time.
The first new feed is ‘All Friends’, which offers a feed showing users everything your friends are sharing; next is photos offering a feed with nothing but pictures from friends and the pages that users have liked with Instagram also featuring here; then comes a separate music feed featuring posts about the music being listened too'; and finally a ‘Following’ feed that comprises the latest news from pages people like and the people they follow.
The changes mean that users will still see all the stories that were in their News Feed before, but with a fresh new look. Facebook said it has completely rebuilt each story to be much more “vibrant and colourful” and designed it to highlight content that friends are sharing.
The changes bring the desktop version of Facebook and the mobile version closer together. The new look means that Facebook now looks and feels the same on mobile, tablet and the web. This means, for example, that the left-hand menu is accessible anywhere users go on Facebook.
The changes are designed to encourage users to stay on Facebook for longer and also mean much greater visibility for ads. Facebook will be hoping this means a lot more advertising revenue.
The new design sees it take things it has learnt from the mobile and bring it to the desktop, which will now more closely mirror Facebook on mobile devices where the social network has proved very successful from an advertising point of view.
Andreas Pouros, COO at digital agency, Greenlight, said: “Facebook has taken the success of advertising in peoples’ newsfeeds on mobile and based its News Feed redesign on mirroring that format (or close to it) on all devices – this should boost revenue.”
For marketers the changes will also mean a great focus on visuals. Advertisers will be allowed to use much bigger pictures to make their content more enticing.
As well as bigger images advertisers will also get access to bigger videos, which can be played without clicking away from the page.
Jordan Stone, strategy director, at We Are Social said that Facebook was trying to be more relevant for consumers with its “personalised newspaper” look.
“It has been designed to encourage people to spend more time on the platform. It does look more aesthetically pleasing and user friendly – everything is bigger and there is greater consistency between mobile and desktop experiences. And it also offers much more control of what you see, letting users zero in on friends, photos, music, etc,” he said.
For brands Stone said that the increased visibility means that they will be able to make themselves more relevant than ever.
“They still need to work hard to make the experience more immersive and engaging. A stream of irrelevant content or ill-conceived sponsored posts will be noticed quickly by consumers.”
Ron Schott Head of Spring Creek Group, UK at IPG Mediabrands, agreed that it is good news for advertisers with the large images as a default in the News Feed meaning more real estate for paid ads placements and giving brands and marketers a larger canvas to tell their story.
He also pointed to the introduction of Instagram photos, which are brought into the new photo feed, which could up the importance of Instagram shots published to Facebook pages.
Facebook plans to roll out the new design slowly over the coming weeks on web and mobile. These design updates will be available first on iPhones and iPads in the coming weeks and followed by Android soon after.
Tips from “The Facebook Guide to Small Business Marketing”
Small business owners are constantly looking for new customers and engaging with the ones they already have to foster loyalty. In a recently published book, “The Facebook Guide to Small Business Marketing,” author Ramon Ray of Smallbiztechnology.com shares his insights into how small business owners can use Facebook to achieve their goals and grow their sales.
Here’s an excerpt from what you’ll find inside featuring three quick tips on how to get the most out of your Facebook Page:
1. Stop trying to make a quick sell: Instead of focusing on getting new fan likes, post content that will increase the engagement of your target audiences (photos, polls, questions). Use Page post targeting to refine your message to the segments that would want to hear from you most regarding that posted content.
2. Bring your Page’s Timeline to life: Post frequently relevant content to your Facebook Page’s Timeline and make it a social destination for your audience. Pin important tips to the top of your Page; change your cover photo out regularly; and make your customers your experts by getting them to weigh in on the questions you post.
3. Promote those “must-see” posts: For those posts that are getting really good fan interaction, consider promoting them (click “promote” underneath the post) to your fans and friends of your fans. Since you know the post’s content is engaging, why not spread the word even more about your business?