Currently, most people’s Facebook feeds are a jumble of status updates, likes, photos and comments from those you’re most interested in.
But that’s all about to change…
Last month, Facebook announced that they are streamlining their news feed, claiming that it will ‘reduce clutter’ and ‘bring stories to life’ by creating a more visual home page. You can sign up for the new look here (the changes will be rolling out over several months).
The changes in summary….
- Photo stories will be blown up to provide rich previews rather than small stories.
- The Facebook home page becomes a wider screen
- You’ll be able to choose from among several feeds dedicated to specific content, including music, friends, people and organisations you are following and photos.
- The mobile and desktop user interface are becoming similar, indicating the growing prominence of mobile devices
- Facebook ads will be made more prominent but there will be a new, easier-to-spot button to enable the user to hide the advert
You can read a more detailed article about the changes here.
Why have Facebook made the changes?
Facebook’s stated aim is to reduce clutter, but it’s the Facebook ads that have resulted in the clutter in the first place. By tidying up the page, Facebook are able to make its ads (on which its future relies) a lot more prominent.
The above changes also suggests that Facebook is concentrating on the needs of adults and businesses, rather than on teenagers (who are short of money and thus of little interest to advertisers). The improvement of the mobile user interface demonstrates how important mobile devices are to Facebook’s future.
What will these changes mean to you?
Your business will need to be prepared for potentially reduced ‘reach’ figures as visitors start to use the filters. If you want to reach a larger audience, you’ll need to think far more carefully about the kind of content visitors want to share.
Your posts will also need to be far more visual. With the rise of Pinterest and YouTube, companies have clearly recognized the value of quality photos and videos, and Facebook have woken up to this. With Facebook’s move to larger photos and video thumbnails, you will need to think carefully about the sort of videos and photos that will drive engagement..
The latest Facebook changes will result in more of a user-friendly magazine-style format, where users can drill down to the content they’re looking for. Facebook are hoping that with better organisation of content, users will be more engaged and spend longer on the page (ultimately making advertisers happier!).
As with all Facebook updates, some will love it, some will hate it, and some won’t even notice. But as a marketer, you can’t afford to sit on the sidelines. If you don’t exploit the latest changes, your compeititors will.