Thinking / Facebook Briefing: News Feed Changes

Facebook Briefing: News Feed Changes

This briefing was kindly provided by Monina Wagner, social media community manager at Marcus Thomas. It is a follow up to an earlier post announcing Facebook's News Feed Change.

Introduction

In order to foster relationships with fans, brands must remain current in the always-changing social space. Facebook recently announced several changes that will affect how users view their News Feeds. The platform is placing greater value on images, as more and more content posted to the site is visual. The News Feed changes have several implications that will impact how brands manage their communities. Facebook is rolling out the changes slowly. While we cannot yet predict the extent to which these changes will impact brands, they do provide several implications that can help guide content to further engage consumers.

Consistent Design

Key Change – Facebook’s redesign will now position posts in a similar manner, whether the platform is accessed by desktop, tablet or mobile. The look is clean and simple, unifying the Facebook experience across devices.

[Image of Facebook of Newsfeeds]

Change Implication -- Posts will now dominate a user’s News Feed. This will give users – and the brands they “Like” – wider image space. Brands will now need to consider how to leverage the dominant design space in the News Feed.

Multiple Feeds

Key Change – There will no longer be just one feed for all of a user’s friends and Likes. A user will now be able to focus on stories from people and pages they care most about through separate feeds.

[Facebook's new categorization in its Newsfeeds] [Facebook's new categorization in its Newsfeeds]

Implications

Users will choose how content is filtered and can toggle among several feeds including “All Friends,” “Following” for public pages like those of brands and public figures, “Music” and “Games."

Potential benefit: Consumers may discover more content from brands through a more prominent “Following” Facebook feed.

Potential disadvantage: Fans may visit the “Following” feed less frequently than other feeds. Because brand content will no longer be disruptive, brands must think more carefully about the value they deliver to their audience to drive them to toggle over.

Bigger Everything

Key Change – Larger, vibrant images will now share what’s most important in each user’s life. As with the introduction of Timeline, brands can leverage this opportunity to tell their story in a highly visual way.

[Facebook's new larger images in Newsfeeds] [Facebook's new larger images in Newsfeeds]

Change Implications

  • Greater emphasis on images will place high expectation on brands to produce and share eye-catching photos.
  • Page Likes will display the brand page’s Cover Photo in the News Feed.
  • Photos will appear with status updates (text) laid over the image.
  • Third-party video will now be treated like native Facebook video, allowing full width viewing
  • Brands will have to utilize high-quality images in larger (55 2px wide) sizes.
  • Community managers must evaluate how fans consume, and engage with, various types of content.

ADDENDUM – This week Facebook officially announced improvements to its Timeline, enhancing user experience. All posts will now be positioned on the right side of a user’s Timeline, with photos, music and other activity on the left. In addition, users may organize their interests, such as “Music,” “Books” and “TV Shows,” and showcase them on their Timeline. In keeping with its move towards a cleaner design, this new Timeline has a more streamlined layout. Facebook has not yet stated whether the Timeline changes will affect brands.

There will no longer be just one feed for all of a user’s friends and Likes. A user will now be able to focus on stories from people and pages they care most about through separate feeds.