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March 7, 2013

Facebook’s New News Feed

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Earlier today, Mark Zuckerberg took the stage at Facebook HQ in California to announce some upcoming changes to the extremely popular social media platform. These changes were in relation to the look and feel of the News Feed, where users go to see the latest updates from friends, brands, and their favorite celebrities. The main changes will alter the appearance of stories, the types of News Feeds that users can see, and Facebook’s mobile versions.

Better Visuals:

The main focus of these changes is to bring richer stories to more prominent areas. In the current News Feed, the main content only takes up approximately 40% of the total landscape. The new version maximizes this area so that users are seeing more of what they like. According to Facebook, photo posts now account for 50% of all posts, while Page posts account for 30%. With this in mind, the size of photos in the News Feed has greatly increased.

Main Feed copy

Photos aren’t the only type of story that will be featured more prominently. Articles, friends, page posts, events, and even information from Pinterest have been optimized to be more visual.



Friends Articles Pinterest

What it means for your brand:

  • Brands should take notice and include photos with posts whenever possible. The new expanded view creates a giant billboard for fans to see
  • When a user sees that a friend has Liked a page, information about that page will also take a large amount of space, increasing the chances of the Page being noticed by potential new fans
    • This means that it’s more important now for brands to have a cover photo on their page that fully aligns with their brand message. For example, a TV network will want to incorporate images from a number of shows to best represent the brand, rather than just promoting one show in the cover image

 

Newsfeed Filters:

Feeds

In addition to changing the design of the News Feed, Facebook has also created new News Feed filters that allow users to customize their experience.  The new All Friends feed displays every post from your friends in chronological order. No Brand Page posts, nothing frompeople you follow, just every post from your friends. The Music feed that shows your favorite musicians and what your friends are listening to. As expected, the Photos feed only shows photos. There is also a new Following feed that shows every post from the Pages, celebrities, teams, etc. that you follow.

What it means for your brand:

  • By default, users will still see the normal feed that contains a mix of friend posts and Page posts. However, brands will have a very tough time reaching people whoonly use the All Friends feed
  • The Following feed does not abide by the laws of the EdgeRank Algorithm. The feed is sorted in chronological order. Everything that a Page posts will be displayed in the Following feed to every fan of that page

 

Mobile Applications Overhaul:

Mobile

Unlike before, the mobile app version of Facebook is nearly identical to the desktop version.  Everything on the left side of your computer is available on the left side of the phone.

What it means for your brand:

This means that you no longer have to worry how an asset may appear on a mobile device. It will appear exactly how it looks on your computer.

 

More Visual Ads:

Not only will content from friends become more visual, but ad content in Page posts, ads and sponsored stories are becoming more vibrant and noticeable.  It’s hard to predict right now exactly how ads will be affected, but we think it’s likely that the post update will be overlaid on the ad image. Additionally, it’s possible that a brand’s cover photo will now be included in the ads.

What it means from your brand:

  • According to Facebook, this will give brands a “vibrant creative canvas” to reach people with ads more engaging places
  • Brands should make sure that there is not a disconnect between ads and cover photos

Our Takeaway:

Overall, it is tough to tell if these changes will benefit to brands. Visibility will decrease if people use the All Friends feed, but otherwise it will appear the same. Photos and other Page assets will be larger and more noticable, whichwill increase the chances of fan engagement. As the new changes begin to rollout to users, time will tell how brands adjust. If you’re interested in learning more, visit http://facebook.com/newsfeed to sign up.

Facebook, News, Social Media

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