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Facebook News Feed makeover: simpler experience, bigger pictures, less grey

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Jacques Coetzee: Staff Reporter
Keen to take over the world, Jacques grew up in Stellenbosch, South Africa. He also studied International Relations (BA) at Stellenbosch University with an interest in innovation... More

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Last year Facebook started rolling out an updated News Feed to some of its users across the globe only to find that they hated it. The update was awkward and featured a bold, cluttered design where users’ profile pictures and photos were meant to be its main focus. Well, the blue social giant has now decided to go back to square one and to revert to a more humble and consistent design.

With the new design, all images are larger — both organic stories and ads will be the same size, similar to the way will images appear on your mobile. If you were one of the lucky ones not affected by the previous 2013 design update, you’ll find not much has changed except for the larger image sizes, a different font and some page buttons shuffled around a bit.

When CEO Mark Zuckerberg first announced the redesign in 2013, he called it the “best personalized newspaper”, adding that “It looks more like the table of contents of what you might see of a well-curated magazine.” It seems that the concept Zuckerberg first envisioned ultimately takes form in the recently released news app Paper.

One really notable redesign that is being pulled is the grey sidebar on the page’s left which showed online friends and a list of page navigation settings. Sorry Zuckerberg, people don’t really like “negative” colours in their online life — only white and blue thank you.

As News Feed product manager Greg Marra told The Verge, “People don’t like us moving their furniture around, because you break muscle memory.”

The new update will give Facebook’s strong 1.23-billion a “more consistent and easier to use” experience across all platforms. Given that Facebook now makes more than half its ad money from mobile, this is certainly a significant aspect of the design.

Facebook says that the update is rolling out globally in the coming weeks.

This is what the old design looks like:
old design

And here is the new:
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