Today at Facebook HQ, Mark Zuckerberg unveiled a new look for news feed that uses a “mobile-inspired” consistent design across devices, lets you drill into specific content-type feeds, and offers larger images. Photo albums have gotten a facelift as well to be more immersive, and links shared will have longer blurb to preview what you’re about to click to.
The changes will start to roll out today and you’ll see them over the next few weeks. The roll out will be slow and careful so Facebook can get feedback about what’s working and what’s not. Here’s our quick hands-on video of what the redesign looks and feels like.
Some other news feed design changes: check-ins to places now have a larger map to show people exactly where you are; Pinterest posts to Facebook are now more vivid, so what you see on Facebook “better reflects what you see on Pinterest”; videos appear larger; and if multiple friends share the same post, you’ll see their faces to the left of the post.
Facebook is also trying to better surface trending content. So you’ll see “Recent Articles About Taylor Swift” that come from different news sources if you Like her.
Chris Struhar of Facebook’s news feed team showed off the special topic feeds users will now be able to choose from in the top of the right sidebar. The feeds are sorted by how often you check it so it’s easy to get to your most visited feeds. They’re all available on both the web and mobile. They include:
- All Friends: Shows only posts from your friends in reverse chronological order.
- Music: Shows what friends are listening to, new albums being released, and recommendations of artists you might like.
- Photos: Just photos, including those uploaded straight to Facebook, but also photos shared from Instagram or other photo apps.
- Following: A revamp of the Pages feed that shows every post by Pages you Like.
- Close Friends
- Any of your Interest Lists or Friend Lists
Mark Zuckerberg explained:
At a personal level we built a service that lets you see and feel the people and friends you care about. What we’re trying to do is give everyone in the world the best personalized newspaper. It should have quality public content from friends. It should have a front page and it should let you drill down into any topic you want. It should be visual, rich and engaging. It should be displayed with more than just text. From the beginning our goal with news feed was different than what any service was trying to provide. You should be able to share any type of content you want…and with any audience you want. The types you tell with photos are totally different.
Now that we all have cameras in our pockets, news feed has become primarily about visual content. Almost 50 percent of content in the news feed is visual. Now the average news feed Pages posts are almost 30 percent of the content. How we’re sharing is changing. We all want to share with friends, but want updates from publications we care about, and artists, and world leaders.
The updates closely match with what I wrote a few days ago about what Facebook would launch.When you receive the web rollout of the redesigned news feed, you’ll see a button to switch to it at the top. That rollout starts today but will slowly proliferate over the coming weeks and months. New versions of Facebook’s mobile apps will become available in the next few weeks.
Overall, the updates should make sure there’s always something new to look at on Facebook. Rather than scrolling to the bottom of your main feed and then leaving the site, you might go check out the Photos or Music feeds. Facebook saw cleaner, mobile-first designs like Instagram and Twitter gaining traction, and is now attempting to strip down its UI while making sure people spend even more time browsing the feeds, seeing ads, and feeling connected to their friends.