Facebook’s News Feed changes

Facebook_April02_BCommunication is an important part of business, and one of the more popular communication mediums is Facebook. It’s hard to find a business that doesn’t use the platform. If you have been using Facebook since its launch you will know that there are occasional changes that sometimes make it better, others worse. The company has recently announced changes to the layout of your News Feed – are they any good?

Here’s an overview of the new changes introduced in Facebook’s News Feed overhaul.

Bigger, more engaging content
The biggest, most obvious change is that the new News Feed is wider. That’s because the menu bar that traditionally has taken up the left-hand side of the window has been more or less removed. It’s now a hovering bar that can collapse to the left-side of the screen. If you’ve seen the recent Android and iPad/iPhone layout, where you can press a button to see your friends menu, it’s similar to that.

Because of the new layout, the content shown on the feed is now larger. This means larger images, news stories, events and maps. To better take advantage of this, it is recommended that any images you upload to your profile be around 600X600 pixels – no smaller than 200X200 pixels.

There is another change that could pose useful: When a friend or local business appears on a user’s wall, they will see the entire Timeline badge and location if they have allowed it.

New feeds
To get the most out the new layout, Facebook has also introduced a number of new News Feeds to explore. Before we get into the new feeds, it would pay to talk about how Facebook has become smarter. Over time, as you comment on posts or share items, Facebook will start to show recommendations based on your past activity. For example if you are sharing news about cloud storage, you will begin to see suggestions around other cloud storage posts, articles or programs that could interest you.

This new layout comes with a few different feeds that can help filter the content you see. The announced feeds are:

  • Music – Shows you posts related to the music you listen to. This likely won’t be the most useful for the majority of companies out there.
  • Photos – Displays only photos that have been uploaded by friends or pages you like. This could be important, especially if you have a visual based profile e.g., restaurants. Because of this new feed, it would be a good idea to ensure you are sharing high-quality images.
  • Following – The latest news and information from Pages that you have liked. This feed could be quite interesting to companies, as it only shows Facebook Pages. What this means for most Page owners is that they had better be sharing good content, as they just became more visible.
  • All Friends – Shows the traditional News Feed namely everything your friends and Pages you have liked are sharing and commenting on.
  • Close Friends – This is a bit of a dangerous view for companies, as it will only show information posted by their friends. All business and ad-related content is not shown.

The same views across all platforms
Finally, Facebook has noted that with this new layout, the News Feed will be the same across all devices. No more looking at a completely different News Feed on your phone or tablet. This is a good move, and should increase your company’s exposure over time.

If you access Facebook on your mobile phone – Android or iPhone/iPad – you have likely seen the new changes, as the apps were updated in mid March and included the new mobile version of the News Feed. The company started rolling out the new layout on March 7 and has noted that the change will take place over a couple of months. Some lucky users may even have it now.

Looking forward to the new changes? Or, perhaps you are a little apprehensive? Why not contact us today to see how we can help you get the most out of any change Facebook introduces.

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