Facebook has announced it will soon be rolling out a new more visual and less cluttered look which will enable users to filter the type of content they see in their news feeds and create a seamless experience between mobile and PC devices.
The main changes are: The News Feed stream will be more prominent, with the home page reduced from four columns to three (the news ticker on the right-hand side is disappearing); Page posts and ads will become more visual – e.g. larger format, caption overlay on some photos, cover photos in Sponsored Page ‘Like’ Stories; Ability to filter News Feed by Photos, Groups, and Following; Navigation sidebar with bookmarks and contacts to match look of Facebook mobile.
The Facebook News Feed changes are aesthetic only and the EdgeRank algorithm, which determines what content will be surfaced in News Feeds, will not be affected. Click here to see the ‘new look’ Facebook News Feed.
Implications for Advertisers
A focus on producing visually appealing content: the changes to the News Feed have made it clear that the best way to increase your engagement rates is to produce and post high quality photos and videos.
Re-engage your fan base: the addition of the ‘Following’ tab on the right-hand side of the Facebook home page will allow users to filter content by the pages they ‘like’. Stay tuned for paid opportunities in the “Following” feed available later this year.
Choose your page cover photo carefully: in addition to the profile photo, Sponsored Page ‘Like’ Stories will now also include the brand page’s cover photo, which may influence users’ decision to ‘like’ your page.
Facebook’s redesign has streamlined the look of News Feed and aligned it with their mobile apps to improve the user experience. However, it’s also likely that the changes are an attempt to win back users with an ever-decreasing attention span (teenagers in particular are said to be leaving Facebook in droves) as photo-based competitors such as Tumblr, Pinterest, Snapchat and Instagram steadily capture their lost audience.
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