8 March 2013 | Team Tamar

Latest Facebook news feed release – what does it all mean?

In what is fast becoming the most eagerly anticipated/dreaded moment in most Facebook users’ year, Facebook have this week announced the latest iteration of their news feed – making some pretty sweeping changes that will “change the way we use Facebook”… or something like that anyway. Don’t they say that every time? One thing is for sure – it’ll take the average Facebook user a few months to get used to, and you can expect a few tantrums in the meantime…!

Either way, you’ll get to judge for yourself in the next few weeks, as the new news feed is being rolled-out gradually – with the option to ‘opt in’ for an early preview by visiting http://www.facebook.com/about/newsfeed

Here’s a few screenshots provided by Facebook Studio, which highlight some of the major changes…

A more visual news feed, which puts more emphasis on imagery and photos. You’ll also notice a shortcut bar on the left, which puts all the most common shortcuts within one place, replacing the old left-hand-menu column. Music is given more prominence.

The new feed doesn’t just share profile photos when a user shares another user’s content – it now brings in their cover photo too. Great news for brands looking to get a bit more visual exposure in followers’ news feeds.

The lack of menu on the left makes space for a much wider central column, meaning images and shared content appear much larger – great for those of us who like to share content, especially from Facebook pages.

One of the most common complaints when the last news feed was introduced was the lack of ability to control exactly whose content you saw – meaning Facebook’s mysterious algorithms were left in charge of what you saw. The new ‘following’ feed option will apparently all you to see EVERYTHING your friends are doing, in chronological order.

The other major change is apparently going to be the consistency of your feed experience with mobile and tablet devices. The new feed will provide the same options (and the same content) whether you’re browsing on a PC, a tablet, a mobile or a TV – something which the current feed fails to do.

So what impact will this new layout have for brands? Well, ultimately it’s going to be less of a change than the timeline switch was – brands themselves won’t need to make any changes to their pages. What you WILL have to do, however, is ensure that the content you are sharing is optimised for the new feed. Use of imagery will become more important, and making sure your cover photo is eye-catching will be a winner too.

Once it gets rolled-out to all users we’ll have a much better idea of the impact it has, but for now why not sign-up for the early release and give it a try yourself?

Team Tamar