The new design of the Facebook News Feed presents bigger photos and links, including for advertisements, and allows users to see specialized streams focused on topics like music and posts by close friends. The changes are designed to address the company’s two most vital challenges: how to hold on to users at a time of competing, specialized social networks and how to draw more advertising dollars to please Wall Street.
The New Facebook Design
The design is essentially just an on-going newsfeed. The redesign is also a nod to the ubiquity of mobile devices, which a majority of Facebook’s one billion users worldwide use to log into their accounts.
The new design is also a lot “cleaner,” taking into account the new Search Engine Optimization best practices of a minimal background (think, lots of white space) and high-contrast text/imagery. Pictures will show up bigger in the News Feed as well, an addition that is designed for mobile users. The reason the new News Feed emphasizes the importance of photographs is because they are one of Facebook’s most underexploited assets. Mark Zuckerberg said that half of all News Feed posts are pictures, compared with about a quarter of all posts a year ago. Every day, 350 million pictures are uploaded to Facebook by individual users and brands.
Like pictures, videos are going to be displayed much larger as well.
And there will be larger images of maps and links to articles.
The new look is a nod to other social networks that are seeing viral growth, like Pinterest, which is built around large pictures.
Your events will now be displayed together.
The page navigation will be getting a new change as well; this new setup will allow you to jump between different versions of the News Feed as well; music, video, images, “all friends”, etc. Users can switch over to specialized feeds that are focused on just the music they are interested in, or they can scroll through a feed that consists of posts from the pages of products and people they follow — a bit like Twitter.
This is what the “Friends” feed will look like.
This is how your “music” feed will appear.
An example of how your “photo” feed will be displayed within the new Facebook design.
Mobile Inspired Design
It undeniable that mobile devices are the future. Did you know that in most markets, smartphones outnumber PCs or that mobile users will soon outnumber those who access the Internet on their desktop? The benefit of this new Facebook design is that it is virtually identical on the desktop and on tablets and cellphones.
The design is cleaner, which is to say less cluttered and more consistent.
Here’s a good before/after to show what I mean (old design compared to the new design):
Who knows how the user base will respond? They tend to initially react very negatively when changes are made to Facebook’s designs. However, what they aren’t saying is how beneficial these changes are going to be for their advertisers, and that is a lot. Bigger images mean more branding opportunities and more possibilities for your products to be shown to a mass market.