Facebook Changes its News Feed – Will Advertisers’ Engagement drop?
Facebook announced changes to the News Feed today. The updates center around the increasingly photo-driven social world, and the popularity of visuals. Mark Zuckerberg acknowledged that the way the world shares information has changed from text-based interaction to visual communication, and that the new updates will revolve around the need to de-clutter the News Feed.
The updated News Feed design was created around three principles that will help create a more visually pleasing experience.
#1 Richer Stories
As Facebook’s Director of Design, Julie Zhou, noted, the News Feed experience really comes down to stories. The update to the News Feed will enlarge photos and will place them front and center in order to immerse users directly into the visual stories shared by their friends, family, and public figures they have chosen to follow.
Facebook wants to give users a richer, simpler and more beautiful News Feed so people can find out what’s going on in the social world around them without having to dig too deeply. As a result, the new design will give more space on the News Feed to photos, article shares and check-ins.
Additionally, when friends share a photo, video or article, their face will appear alongside the shared content so you can scroll over their profile to see what exactly they are saying about the content, and what kind of comments have spawned off of their reaction to what’s being shared.
#2 Choice of Feed
With the new update, Facebook users will now have more power over the type of content that occupies their News Feed. Instead of skimming the surface of conversation, the update positions Facebook more as a traditional newspaper, with sections, like sports, photos, music, etc., that users can choose to get content from.
With the all friends feed, you can view stories and status updates from your entire friends list. If you want to trim your News Feed down, you can choose the close friends feed in order to see content from those near and dear to you. The music feed lets you see content from the musicians you like, like concert showtimes and recent album releases. The photos feed will show users photos and photos only. And the following feed will show you content from all the pages and public figures you have chosen to give a “like” to.
However, this ability to choose the type of feed you want might pose problems for advertisers and company pages. Unless fans specifically choose the following feed, fan engagement could drop off significantly for businesses, which would require company pages to use promoted posts or spend more money on Facebook advertising.
#3 Consistency Between Interfaces
Facebook is striving to give users more consistency and material similarity across all devices- smartphones, tablets and desktops. With the update, Facebook will be more easily navigable, the News Feed will look and feel the same across all devices, and there will be a mobile-inspired web design for PC and desktop users.
Overall, the News Feed changes place a premium on visuals. Brands and companies must understand this in order to keep pace with the engagement wave that will undoubtedly change as the update continues to roll out. Text-based content will see a drastic decrease in engagement levels, so it will be advantageous to center content calendars and marketing campaigns around eye-popping visuals.
Facebook indicated that they will give the update to a small audience at first, beginning today, and will expand outwards as they continue to get feedback and fix any bugs that may occur.
The first feedback we have received is that this design looks very similar to Google Plus, and the mobile interface looks like Instagram. What do you think of the changes that Facebook has planned?