A News Feed Worth A Thousand Words

“They say a picture is worth 1,000 words, and today’s design is more like 500,” Julie Zhuo, Facebook’s Director of Design, comments on the current News Feed set up.

Images & clutter were the biggest topics of discussion during today’s Facebook conference as they announced a new News Feed layout and user experience.

Today’s current News Feed layout takes up less than 40% of Home Page real estate. When a typical Facebook users enters the Home Page and is faced with the News Feed, their eyes gear towards the stories and content that their pages and friends are posting. This means the other 60% of their Home Page is just “clutter.”

Current News Feed:

With the advance technology of phone cameras along with the invention of Instagram and Pinterest, Facebook began to see a high increase of users sharing images over text. However, all of these images are not being given the billboard platform and real estate they deserve.

Facebook knew they had to make a change. When discussing how to improve the News Feed, it all came back to stories. They wanted to make each link, check-in, event, and shared image more “immersive & beautiful.”

And viola! Introducing the new News Feed:

As you can see, the new layout gives images the respect and credit they have always deserved.

Each different Facebook action has been given a makeover that will allow it to POP in the News Feed.

For example, your friend Joe just “liked” the local Sushi Restaurant near you. Now you definitely won’t miss it! This is how a suggested page based off of a friend’s activity will begin to appear in your News Feed:

These Facebook action makeovers will begin to play a major role in a brand’s Facebook page. If you’re a brand looking to grab a fan’s attention and increase engagement with your audience, captivating and eccentric images should be your bread and butter. In addition, Sponsored Posts will also become a vital part of a brand’s social media marketing plan to help increase page likes and fan engagement.

Not only were images made a priority within the new layout, but the design also took on a mobile concept. The desktop version may appear very similiar to the current mobile version of Facebook. This new design not only looks sharp, but also enhances the user’s experience and ease of navigation from page to page. The new layout offers a global navigation so user’s don’t have to navigate back to the home page to view other pages on Facebook.

The new News Feed also includes a “new story bubble,” which was a concept taken from the current mobile version. Now you no longer have to refresh your News Feed or miss out on any content.

In addition to a new look and feel, Facebook also introduced a new functionality.

With the new News Feed layout, Facebook will somewhat become your personal social media newspaper by dividing content into multiple News Feeds such as the following:

  • Friends
  • Music
  • Photos
  • Games
  • Following
  • Most Recent

The multiple News Feeds will allow you to focus on the specific content you wish to see, instead of searching through one giant blurb of content. Very similiar to the way a newspaper is divided into different sections.

Want to see what concerts are playing near you? Click on the “Music” News Feed and Facebook will not only show you the specific artists you follow but also which bands are playing in your area.

The “Following” News Feed is what’s most important for brands. This tab will include ALL content from the user’s pages and public figures.

The “Following” News Feed:

Currently when a brand posts on Facebook, about 16% of their fans see the post organically. With the new categories, brands won’t be taking a total shot in the dark to have their posts appear on their fan’s News Feeds. When a user switches to the “Following” News Feed, it’s a guarantee that your brand’s post will be there.

However, around 16% of fans may still only see your brand’s content on the “Most Recent” News Feed, which may be the default landing page when logging into Facebook.

This brings up the question: Will fans click on the “Following” News Feed to see only page content?

A possible scenario may result in users primarily utilizing the new function to stay on top of their friends activity and stories. Brands will have to step up their creative game to keep fans intrigued enough to click on the “Following” News Feed to solely look at branded content.

On the other hand, the multiple News Feeds will provide a unique opportunity for brand’s to target a more relevant audience. For example, if a brand recently launched a new gaming app, they can set their Sponsored Posts to appear within the “Games” News Feed.

Facebook Fanatics and addicts, stay tuned! Not only did they introduce the  design and concept today, but they also began rolling out the new platform to select users. Who knows, you may see the new Facebook sooner than you think.


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