You’re News Feed will never be the same. That could be a good thing, or a bad, but one thing’s for sure, many of Facebook’s users probably won’t like it. They never do. Change sucks.
Facebook will be rolling out a facelift of its News Feed this week, Reuters reported. The changes are the biggest to hit the world’s biggest social network in years. They stand to both increase advertising power as well as user engagement, a conflicting slope Facebook has been struggling to navigate. The new News Feed will have more dominant photos and videos and include a broader range of feeds for music, news and friends for better user engagement Facebook hopes will mean more time spent on the site.
At a press event introducing the changes at Facebook’s Menlo Park headquarters this week, Mark Zuckerberg described the new revamp as “the best personalized newspaper.”
“It’s easy to think about it as just a single stream of content but our goal is a lot broader,” Zuckerberg said.
Which hopefully will mean more time spent on the site.
“This is just going to provide more opportunity for people to click around and stick around,” Brian Blau, an analyst with industry research firm Gartner, told Reuters. “The newsfeed was kind of outdated. This sort of brings it up to maybe what’s comparable to sort of their competition, and partner sites that are focusing on media and richness.”
The new design will look the same on both mobile and desktops, though it was specifically designed with mobile in mind. Photos will have more prominence, meaning bigger friends photos and larger images in shared articles. This will also enable more compelling ads. Location checkins will feature a new map of destinations, with posts about businesses aligned with pictures of friends that have liked the business.
Facebook has also introduced new feeds to increase user engagement and time spent on the site. An “all friends” feed feature updates from friends, while a “following feed” includes branded content from news outlets and organizations the user is following. A “photos feed” is dedicated to images, while a “music feed” includes any music related activity of friends and people you’re following.
Following the company’s announcement, shares were up 4.4 percent at $28.67, though still a far cry from its opening day price of $38. Facebook has a ways to recover before it can look Wall St. in the eye, though this latest change seems like a step in the right direction. How users react remains to be seen, but in any case, they’ll just have to get used to it as the company learns how to better balance advertising with creating a user experience that keeps people interest.