Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is in the process of making some major changes to its news feeds, and whenever the social networking site makes changes, they take a little getting used to. The site is in the process of implementing its Graph Search feature, which will change things even further. Also keep in mind that if you don’t have access to the site’s new News Feed yet, you will at some point in the future, so keep an eye out for these changes.
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One of the main things most users are concerned about when it comes to Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is privacy, and of course this has certainly changed. The Wall Street Journal covered the new privacy settings very well.
The location of the privacy settings is different, first of all. It was once at the top right of your screen at log-in, but now they are located at the top left side of the News Feed, right next to your name. It looks like a lock, and clicking on it will give you access to the same privacy features you’ve already dealt with in the past.
As Facebook rolls out its Graph Search feature, privacy is going to become an even bigger concern because it makes it easier for people to find out more about you—if you’ve shared it publicly. The privacy settings will allow you to set the things you only share with your friends.
The new settings also enable you to see how your own entries and the posts you are tagged in are shared with the activity log of Facebook as a whole. Just look for the privacy menu that’s located to the right of the News Feed.
The appearance of Facebook’s News Feed has also changed, and as Information Week points out, it looks a lot more like Google+’s layout. Observers will also note some elements of Twitter in the new design.
First, there’s the addition of an All Friends feed, which makes it easy to see all of the posts from friends as they appear in chronological order. So if you haven’t seen any posts from some of your friends lately, this will give you an opportunity to catch up with them because you can choose to view all of them instead of only the ones Facebook puts on your Timeline. The previous (or current, if yours hasn’t been upgraded yet) News Feed does not include posts from all of your friends.
The new design also offers more space for images, which could be a boon for advertisers (see more about that below), although it also makes it easier for you to block ads if you wish to do so. In fact, there are more options so that you can have more control over what you see on your News Feed. You can even check out the Music tab, which gives you a glimpse of what your friends are listening to and keeps this information separate from the general News Feed.
Also, you might notice that it’s a little more difficult to leave comments on friends’ posts. However, that famous “Like” button is glaringly obvious, making it seem like Facebook is now more concerned about “Likes” rather than making it easy for friends to have posted conversations.
You’ll also notice that the menu options are now pushed off to the far left side of the screen. They’re in a dark column, making them easy to spot and pushing them away from the posts you’re reading.
Bonuses for Advertisers
And of course with Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) being essentially an advertising company, because that’s how it makes most of its money, there are some goodies for advertisers. Analysts at Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) have issued a report to investors highlighting some of the benefits advertisers will see from the new News Feed.
The main thing advertisers should note is the face that ads do get more real estate in the News Feed. Also as the social media giant moves toward an image-focused format, the stories posted on the feed become more visual. As the analysts point out, this means that ads which look more like organic posts could see great increases in performance.
Advertisers may also appreciate the greater consistency that exists between Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s mobile and PC experiences. The entire screen can now be seen on all devices, which should help boost ad clicks from here on out.