Yesterday Facebook announced it’s giving the Newsfeed a fresh new look and offering users more control over the content they see. The overwhelming reaction has been positive, but what effect will it have on social media marketers?
The redesign is intended to make the Newsfeed as clean as possible, with less text and more focus on the visual. Julie Zhu described it as “a richer, simpler, more beautiful Newsfeed” with stories more vibrant and colourful. Facebook has also greatly increased the amount of whitespace on the page and the left sidebar has had a complete overhaul to make it look far less cluttered.
Aside from the visual changes, Facebook has also given users more control over their newsfeed. In addition to the existing ‘top stories’ and ‘most recent’ options, users will have multiple ways of managing what appears in their stream.
- All Friends – a feed that shows you everything your friends are sharing
- Close Friends – a feed showing stories from those you identify as ‘close friends’
- Photos – a feed with nothing but photos from your friends and the Pages you like
- Music – a feed with posts about the music you listen to
- Following – a feed with the latest news from the Pages you like and the people you follow
The new design will also offer a more consistent experience across platforms, with the same look and feel also applying to mobile and tablet versions.
What this means for marketers:
- First and foremost, this should put to bed the argument that Facebook is deliberately limiting the reach in order to force businesses to advertise. Although the ‘top stories’ newsfeed will still be based on the Edgerank algorithm, users will have much more control over what posts are displayed – should they wish.
- Photos will be much larger and more prominent in the Newsfeed, so putting out visually pleasing content will be more important than ever.
- Facebook ads will still feature on the right hand side, but they will be pushed further down the page. As with the Newseed, ads will be more visual so marketers need to get creative with their photos.
Another potential consequence is that by making content easier to consume in the Newsfeed itself, fewer users will click away from the platform. Some marketers may have to focus more attention on driving engagement within Facebook itself, rather than using it to drive traffic elsewhere.
You can register here to join the waiting list and be one of the first to experience the new design.