While users were still getting used to the new graph search and marketers had only begun to weave their social media plans around it, Facebook has brought about yet another major change in one of its three pillars. The social networking website has redesigned its ‘News Feed’ to give it a more personalised effect.
The new format will have different sections for friends, photos and music to make the news feed a ‘personalised newspaper’ for the users. The new format gives photographs a lot more weightage on the basis of the growth seen in the last two years. (Photographs had doubled to 50 per cent of the news feed stories).
Other prominent features available in the new version are friends feed, following feed and music feed. Friends feed and following feed give users the option of separating news from their friends and news from the pages, people or groups they have liked. Similarly, music feed gives information about the artists one has liked, music that their friends are listening to, upcoming concerts, etc.
Commenting on the new design, Rajiv Dingra, Founder & CEO, WATConsult said, “While the new Facebook design is great for visual content and user engagement as it gives users more rights to tailor what content they see, it remains to be seen how the brands aspect gets catered to with rich media ad units within the feed. Overall, this update should improve user engagement and thereby, traction for Facebook.”
While the redesigned layout gives users an ultimate customised version, it brings along a few features that may add to the woes of the marketers.
On one hand, marketers now do not have to depend completely on the algorithm; since if the users choose to follow their page completely, they shall receive every post from the page. On the other hand, users can choose to completely block news from a particular page. Also, the new layout may make engaging users more costly as it’s not just text but imagery and video content that they will need to create.
The new layout will enable users to opt for all updates, which will be shown in reverse chronological order based on what they liked first and will get the same version on their computers, mobile phones and tablets.
With users and marketers are still getting used to the graph search, making changes in the news feed can be a called a very big gamble for Facebook. While analytically, the step looks assuring, Facebook has a lot at stake.
Goodbye clutter; hello bright, beautiful stories is the headline of the official announcement on Facebook’s blog.