Too Many Face-lifts? Exploring Facebook’s News Feed Change
March 19, 2013
On March 7, 2013, Facebook announced the biggest redesign of its News Feed since the company got its start. Coming just on the heels of the new Graph Search announcement, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, emphasized that Facebook wants, “to give everyone in the world the best personalized newspaper in the world.” Company executives have echoed this by saying they want to make the News Feed more relevant, as this is the first page users see upon logging in.
The change, designed to “reduce clutter and focus more on stories from the people you care about,” impacts the design and functionality of the News Feed. The changes come in three major parts:
- Vibrant Stories which will more prominently display photos and visual content,
- Choice of Feeds which will allow users to have more control over the story topics that appear, and
- Better Mobile Experience, coming from more mobile consistency
In his announcement, Mark Zuckerberg stated that almost 50% of News Feed content today is photos and visual content. This inspired the design changes to each News Feed story. Though you will still see the same stories you saw before in your News Feed, each story has been rebuilt to be much more colorful and vibrant while highlighting the content shared by your friends.
For example, news articles, photos, maps and events will appear bigger, brighter and more vivid.
Photo albums have also received a facelift to tell a better story.
Stories shared in the News Feed by individuals or brands will also pull in additional pieces of the person’s or page’s timeline, such as their cover photo and thumbnail images of their friends. Articles shared on Facebook will now feature a more prominent title, a larger image, and a longer article summary.
Other changes to stories include featuring places more prominently on maps, bigger placement of content shared by third-party apps like Pinterest, and larger displays of videos, among others.
Choice of Feeds
To make sure users are seeing more of the stories that matter to them, Facebook is introducing several new feeds in addition to the feeds you have today:
- All Friends – where you see all of the content your friends are sharing
- Photos – where nothing but the photos shared by your friends and Pages you have liked are displayed
- Music – a feed dedicated to posts about music you listen to
- Following – a feed that displays the latest news from the people you follow and the Pages you like
Better Mobile Experience
Now, wherever you use Facebook – on mobile, tablet or web – you will get the same clean look and vibrant design, creating a much more simplified and unified user experience. For example, the left-hand menu will now be accessible anywhere you go on Facebook. Users will also be able to easily jump to the top of the News Feed when new stories come in.
The new design is being rolled out on web and mobile over the coming weeks. If you’re interested in getting it early, you can add yourself to the waiting list.