Prepare yourself for the petitions, the grumbling and the overall sense of unrest that can only be caused by major changes to the way people use Facebook. Reports suggest tomorrow might indeed be the day that Facebook pushes their new timeline live, for better or worse.
“The news feed is one of the most important things we’ve built,” Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said during the press event. Likening news feed to “the most personalized newspaper,” Zuckerberg added that “the stories around you deserve to be displayed with more than just text.”
Let’s take a look.
According to Facebook, approximately 50-percent of the stories shared on the average users news feed are pictures. Facebook isn’t alone. Most major social networks are reporting huge increases in the amount of visual media shared on their sites. Facebook is adapting to a more visual userbase by increasing the image size on the news feed significantly.
Pinterest users should quickly become enamored with the news feed as well. Their pins will now get significantly more real estate in their feeds, assuming they connect the two accounts.
With reports this week that engagement amongst teens is dropping at Facebook in favor of more visual-centric social networks, such as Instagram, it looks like Facebook might have made the right move in purchasing the company for a cool 1-billion dollars last year. With the increased real estate devoted to images in the news feed, one can only wonder if plans to integrate the two services are coming soon.
It’s no secret that Facebook has embraced Spotify. They’ve even included some space for them in the news feed for users with connected accounts. While this isn’t new in and of itself, the new display options on the news feed, as well as the “music” tab are going to keep users second guessing their friends music choices for quite some time.
You’ve had the option to subscribe to feeds for a while now, but it hasn’t been adopted by the masses just yet. Recognizing this, Facebook made changes to feeds to allow users to subscribe to allow subscriptions not only to people, but to games, photos, and music as well. It is reported that there will be additional options to display these feeds as well.
Facebook is continuing to add new publishing partners to the feed, and you’ll have the option to subscribe to them as well. Wither it’s Yahoo Sports or The Huffington Post, plans are in the works to deliver feeds based on content that you want to see.
Facebook has struggled to deliver a uniform look and feel across mobile devices and within mobile apps. The news feed design was actually inspired by attempts to design a better mobile version of the site across all platforms. They hope to make the user experience more consistent, regardless of the platform you use to access the site.
The changes are in line with others we’ve seen in the past 12 months on other sites. The web is becoming a mobile hot spot, and sites are starting to accomodate by designing around devices other than laptop and desktop computers.
We’ll report back once we get to play around inside the updated news feed.