Facebook gathered the gang together this morning to say goodbye to clutter and hello to a whole new news feed design. Actually, it’s not “all” new. You’ll still recognize it as Facebook, but they made a few tweaks that are supposed to make the experience more enjoyable.
The Facebook design team took their inspiration from the clean, bold presentation that comes with mobile. They’ve done their best to deliver the same experience across all platforms; the web, mobile phones and tablets, so you don’t have to reorient yourself every time you log in. That’s nice.
Like an old TV show on Syfy, Facebook posts have been “reimagined” to make the most of whatever it is your friends are sharing. Photos and videos will be bigger. Links will have more text and the photo that goes with a linked story will also be larger.
This is a big step for marketers, because it means Facebook is putting an even bigger emphasis on graphics. This is something you’ll want to think about as you formulate your posts for the month. Test your options, see how they show up in the newsfeed (not just on your Facebook Page) and adjust accordingly.
TechCrunch reports that this larger photo format will also apply to Facebook Feed Ads – which is good news for those who pay to advertise on Facebook.
Choose Your Feed
For those who only use Facebook as a free service, this new design is a double-edged sword.
The main component of the new look is a series of tabs for different types of content. Using the menu in the upper right corner, you can choose to see only the kind of content you want to see; just photos, just music, just games.
Facebook Pages come under the tab labeled “Following.”
The upside is that more of your content should make it through to your followers. The assumption (I’m not positive) is that Facebook will stop filtering Page posts. If you follow a brand, the posts will show up on the “Following” tab. The downside is, they won’t show up on other popular tabs such as the Friends feed. If users make it a habit of simply checking their Friends page, then brands will be completely off the grid.
Now. . .what happens if a person “shares” a Page post with their friends? I’d assume it’s going to show up on the Friends Tab because it’s just like making a personal post with a link. Is that how it’s going to work? We’ll soon find out.
Facebook will start rolling out the new design today but it will be gradual so don’t expect to see it the next time you log on. If you want to be put on the waiting list for early release, there’s a button for that. I don’t think the button will actually push your name to the front of the line, but if it makes you feel better to click it, then click it.
Overall, this feels like a step in the right direction. Cutting clutter works for everyone, users and marketers but will we see the change in our traffic and engagement? Time will tell.
For the auditory learners out there, here’s a video explaining everything I just wrote: