Facebook News Feed redesign: more content specific, bigger ads, photos

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When Facebook unveils its redesigned News Feed tomorrow we can expect something that is more content-specific as well bigger photos and adverts.

According to TechCrunch, sources say that the changes will debut first on the web version of the social network, before rolling out on mobile.

If TechCrunch’s sources are correct, then the redesign is pretty much in line with what the collected tech press has been expecting.

The new News Feed will also apparently allow you to toggle between different feeds by hitting buttons at the top of the page rather than on the side. Within those feeds, there will also be less “navigation chrome” surrounding the content.

Taking pride of place will be a photos and music feed featuring photos both from Facebook and Instagram. A “full-screen” option is also being touted as a possibility. When it comes to music meanwhile, the feed is set to expand beyond the current option of seeing what your friends are listening to. You’ll also be able to see information about any upcoming concerts near you and direct updates from artists.

All of this fits in neatly with what Mark Zuckerberg said about News Feed in Facebook’s Q4 earnings call:

As our news feed design evolves to show richer kinds of stories, that opens up new opportunities to offer different kinds of ads as well…One of the product design principles that we’ve always had is we want the organic content to be of the same basic types of formats as paid content, right? So, historically, advertisers want really rich things like big pictures or videos and we haven’t provided those things historically. But, one of the things that we’ve done in the last year is you’ve seen the organic news feed product that consumers use moving towards bigger pictures, richer media and I think you’ll continue to see it go in that direction. And, I think that a lot of the success of products like Instagram is because of that. It’s a very immersive – even on a small screen, just – it’s a wonderful photo product.

When you include Graph Search alongside the rumored changes, it looks like Facebook is set to give users much more control over the content they see in their feeds. It will be interesting to see how the new News Feed goes down with Facebook’s billion or so users. UI changes have traditionally registered waves of complaint.

If the world’s largest social network wants to avoid that this time around, then it needs to make sure the News Feed it rolls out on Thursday looks good and is immediately intuitive at the very least.

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