Facebook Set To Unveil Big Changes To Your News Feed

Mar 7, 2013
Originally published on March 7, 2013 10:49 am

Update at 1:31 p.m. ET. Larger Images, Mobile Oriented:

Facebook announced today that it was overhauling its "news feed." This is significant on two fronts: First, this is truly the first big makeover for the feature since its inception. Second, its users — some 1 billion worldwide — are known to be very touchy about changes.

Reuters said the new news feed is "visually richer" and "mobile device-oriented." It means the feed will look the same on your computer as it does on your mobile device.

From what we saw during the televised news briefing, the feed takes up more of the screen, leading to bigger photos and videos and longer summaries on stories shared by friends.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the new design was "more beautiful" and "more immersive."

Another big change is that you will now be able to toggle between feeds. Facebook compared it to reading a newspaper with different sections. You could choose a "friends" feed, which shows everything your friends have shared chronologically or you could choose a "photo" feed, which would show you all the photographs.

"We want to give the world the best personalized newspaper that we can," Zuckerberg said.

The new look will be rolled out "slowly and carefully" to a limited number of users until the quirks are worked out, Facebook said.

Our Original Post Continues:

Any change to the way Facebook presents information causes extensive ripples. Users — some 1 billion worldwide — are touchy about their news feed.

Today at 1 p.m. ET., Facebook expected to unveil a "new look" for its news feed. The company hasn't said much about the changes.

But one thing that is pretty much guaranteed, reports Fox News, is that Facebook users will grumble.

"Facebook users often complain about changes to the site, whether it's cosmetic tweaks or the overhaul of privacy settings," Fox reports.

Techcrunch talked to some insiders and it reports that Facebook will be segmenting your feeds. The website adds:

"These include a Photos feed of Facebook and Instagram photos, as well as a revamped Music feed of what friends are listening to, concerts, and new albums, according to multiple sources both within and close to Facebook. Larger images and image-based ads in the web and mobile feeds are coming too.

"Why is Facebook adding new streams? Because we are information junkies. Give us a feed and we'll read it. But when we scroll so far we hit re-runs – we hit the road. So Facebook has a plan to give us something different to look at starting March 7th. If the "new look" for the news feed that it's unveiling works, it could get us spending more hours on Facebook and seeing more — and more intense — ads."

The Wall Street Journal reads the tea leaves from Facebook's last earnings call.

Essentially, the paper reports, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wants "advertisements and paid content [to] have a uniform look."

One of the expected changes, reports the paper, is likely to be "richer" advertisements.

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