Last Thursday, Mark Zuckerberg hosted another big press event at the Palo Alto headquarters of Facebook to introduce the new look of the News Feed. As with every other major change to Facebook, the changes have met with mixed feelings from users. Whether that contingency of Facebook users that despise change likes it or not, the look of News Feed will change. Those changes will impact the way brands, celebrities, and local businesses use Facebook to reach fans and customers.
Let’s break down what’s changing and why you need to adjust your posting habits.
First, let’s look at the overall changes to the News Feed page.
As highlighted here, the actual news feed posts take up only 40% of the page real estate. The rest of the page is cluttered with a busy navigation menu, a sidebar of sponsored material, and the ticker. The content your business shares on Facebook currently has to fight for the user’s attention amid a lot of visual noise.
This is what Facebook will look like very soon. Right away you should notice that the presentation of information looks the same whether users are accessing Facebook via desktop or mobile. Once the new design rolls out, you can be assured that your brand messages are being displayed constantly to Facebook users. The navigation looks and operates more like the little app icons that mobile users have become so accustomed to. The posts themselves now dominate the page.
Let’s take a look at the changes to individual post types.
This is currently how a photo posted on Facebook looks in the News Feed.
This is how photo posts will look when the update comes online. Notice that the image is larger and the information about the image is presented in a clean and pleasing way. The whole intent with the redesign of News Feed is to highlight media over the standard text status updates. Over recent months photos in particular have come to dominate the content available on News Feed. Over 50% of all content posted on Facebook is visual. As the News Feed places more value on the images shared by users and brands, you will need to pay attention to how the content consumption habits of your Facebook fan base changes.
The way links to your blog posts will also change.
Currently, when anyone shares a link to something they found outside of Facebook, it offers a small thumbnail picture, the article headline, a brief description, and space for the user to comment on why they shared the link.
The same information is still there in the updated version, but now the image is much bigger, the headline and description have a magazine feel, and now you see that the publication’s logo is included in the post. So, the changes to News Feed may be a good reason to reevaluate your content strategy on your own blog. Do the images, logos, and headlines currently present in an engaging way when shared on Facebook?
The way your native Facebook content displays is getting upgraded as well.
Currently, when someone adds a friend or likes a page, it is presented in News Feed like this.
The new version of a News Feed post when someone likes your page will look like this. Now not only is your logo given more prominence, but the cover photo is included along with a like button. Users will get more of a feel for what your business page is like right in their news feed. Are your logos and cover images high quality, or will News Feed display a lack of design savvy?
Would you like for Facebook user check-ins to drive more business to your door?
Currently, a check-in looks like this in the desktop news feed.
This version of a check-in looks the way the Facebook mobile app already displays check-ins. Now, regardless of whether users are viewing a check-in post on mobile or their desktop, they will get maps and images. So, is all of your local data up to date?
One other thing I would like to point out about the overall look of the new News Feed page. Up at the very top, it looks as though Graph Search is baked in. So, for those users that are still on the wait list for improved search, we may get everything all at once. Be sure that you evaluate your current Facebook presence to maximize search opportunities as well as the opportunities presented by the redesign.
What are your thoughts? What, if anything, will you have to adjust for your business or your clients as the new News Feed begins to roll out?
Image Credit: All images courtesy of Facebook.