I think the primary concern for those who were aware that Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) was designing a news feed, is that it would force us to relearn how we ignore Facebook advertising. As Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has ramped up its adverts over the years, it’s difficult not to envision that any “improvement” to news feed would only benefit Facebook’s revenue stream and marketer’s interest in using it.
The primary focus of this redesign was to, according to Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), show more continuity between its Android, and iOS apps. It does that, it also makes the ads bigger. This is not necessarily a criticism of the first real revamping of the platform; it actually does look less cluttered even if it means more prominent advertising.
“One of the consistent themes we heard in feedback from people was that it felt cluttered and that there was lot happening on the page,” said the project’s chief engineer Chris Struhar as he explained this to the BBC ahead of the official announcement.
The new feed does look nice and is quite customizable in order to direct your interest where you want it.
“What we’re trying to do is give everyone in the world the best personalized newspaper we can,” Zuckerberg said. “The best personalized newspaper should be intricate, rich, and engaging.”
I like Struhar’s analogy and just prefer him to a Zuckerberg.
“I often compare this to a 1960s television with wood panelling, knobs around it, and a tiny postage stamp-sized screen – and what we’re trying to do is take that same TV and translate it into a 40in HD experience.”
This doesn’t mean that it wont cause the ire of the now 1.1 billion users who open their Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) at least once a month. Any change, seemingly no matter how small, has mobilized users to start petitions and rant ad nauseum about even the smallest change. Imagine if they were paying customers.
For the most part this looks like a welcome change, a change that will manifest itself primarily in these three areas:
- The website will move from a three-column format to a two-column format. It will be dominated by images and video rather than text.
- The left side of the page will include a pop-out black bar that contains links to friends of your choosing, bookmarks, along with the chat and calender tools.
- Options including a photo-only feed, music-only feed, and the ability to focus on friends and your likes rather than Facebook algorithm generated content.
For many, it will take some getting use to as it begins its slow roll-out over the weeks to come, but it’s difficult to question their motives on this one.
Lastly, for those without Graph Search, the new Facebook “f” is here to stay.