Facebook has announced a new look for its News Feed feature – one that will emphasize visual content and create a “personalized newspaper” for users.
The social network unveiled the redesign at a press event in Menlo Park, Calif. on Thursday. “News feed is one of the most important services that we build,” said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
You can expect the new News Feed look to included more photos and videos and less text – in line with how Facebook believes we are sharing content nowadays. The look will also be the same for both web and mobile users.
The new design will give posts like places and third-party apps more prominence and bigger images. People tagged in a video will now have a thumbnail appear on the left side. Users will also be able to access individualized news feeds focused on specific content – one for friends, one for photos, one for music, etc.
Although Facebook began rolling out the News Feed changes Thursday on the web, it will be a staggered process. Mobile apps will see changes in a couple of weeks.
Not everyone will be thrilled with the changes Facebook has announced. In the past, some users have pushed back against what they see as increasingly vague privacy terms. There’s also a general sense among some users that the social network is becoming too complicated with too many features to master.
A recent report from the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project found that some 61 percent of Facebook users had taken a hiatus of at least several weeks for a myriad of reasons.
Facebook maintains that its user engagement remains strong and reports over 1 billion monthly active users. The social network is betting most of those users will adjust to the News Feed changes in time, as they have with other major overhauls like Timeline.
Gartner analyst Brian Blau points out that the social network’s main News Feed has not undergone an overhaul in about three years.
“To be fair, Facebook continually adjusts the contents of the new feed, but they haven’t really revamped its user interface or layout during this time,” Blau told CBS News via email.
Blau thinks the changes will be good for Facebook in the long run. They may also appeal to advertisers, since the new layout will offer increased opportunities for revenue and “eyeballs.”