Fresh-faced: Facebook announces revamped News Feed

engage_fbYou’re cruising along happily… and then Facebook changes. Again.

But, it’s not all doom and gloom. Sometimes change is great, sometimes change is bad and sometimes it’s just really annoying. People’s attitudes to technology and the way it is constantly evolving, changing and forcing us to adapt can vary quite proportionately to the way they usually adapt to change in general.

But then there’s Facebook, and when it comes to changes, Facebook users have in the past been really interesting to observe concerning alterations to its layout, functions and design. Even die-hard fans can have reactions ranging from unbridled delight (if it’s new and different they love it and can’t wait to get their twitching fingers using it) to cool indifference (hey – it works a bit differently, so what? It fulfills its purpose) and even horrified outrage (how dare they change it – again?! This will affect my entire liking-tweeting-posting-pinning-dynamic – unlike, unlike!). And then you get the marketers’ reactions – which will be either the sound of cogs and gears grinding out new marketing strategies or a sentence consisting of censored adjectives.

Feeds based on topics – the choice is all yours (marketers take note!)

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Users are now given the power to choose and filter the content on their feeds and keep them separate from each other, making the feeds more organised and less cluttered.

They will be able to switch  between feeds according to different topics. Zuckerberg likened the Facebook’s revamped News Feed to a newspaper, explaining that like a newspaper, the feed incorporates content to be a blend of social news from friends and information from the other pages a user might follow – like brand and business pages.

The new feeds:  

Since users now have the option to see updates from branded pages, games and other apps whenever they feel like it, it is vital that marketers get the users to want to follow them.

It will be very advantageous for brands to use this opportunity, as it will help them to focus on those users who regularly engage with them and even allow them to be the top brand on user’s ‘following feeds’.

  • Following Feed: this shows posts from the brand and business pages users are fans of in chronological order
  • All Friends Feed: this displays all posts from all the user’s friends
  • Photos Feed: this displays photos posted by the user’s friends and the pages they follow
  • Music Feed: this feed incorporates news and posts from the artists the users follow, what concerts are taking place and which musicians the user’s friends are interested in

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The new design has been adapted to give users a consistent Facebook experience across all mobiles, web devices and tablets.

Rich Stories

Visual content – photos, articles, events, videos and maps will be much larger and more vibrant. Zuckerberg explained these design changes by pointing out the fact that News Feed content is increasingly becoming more visual, with photos and video content obviously getting the most likes and shares.

  • Photos have been given a better layout
  • Albums have been improved
  • Places will be more distinctly viewed with maps
  • Most-shared articles, interests and topics will appear more noticeable and shared articles will be featured larger with a bigger title and space for a longer summary
  • When something is shared in the News Feed aspects of that user’s timeline gets featured – such as their cover   photo and thumbnails of their friends or fans. This is a very significant change for business and brand pages and should be taken advantage of.
  • Shared content from third-party apps such as Instagram or Pinterest is given more visual prominence.

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However you look at it, Facebook has rolled out these changes to keep users engaged in the experience and not lose interest, because with the continual explosion of new and innovative social media platforms, Facebook must give current and new users a good reason to keep using it – and the same goes for keeping marketers using it as an advertising channel. As marketers, we also have to adapt to these changes and take advantage of it if we want to gain anything from the potential for business that Facebook provides every time someone decides to update their status or check to see what’s happening on their News Feed.

Don’t panic!

The new design will be implemented in the next few weeks, but you can go and have a look and even join the waiting list by following this link: https://www.facebook.com/about/newsfeed (and maybe get the hang of it before your competition does).

If you are unsure of how to get your business up to speed with Facebook’s new changes, we’d be happy to help 🙂

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