Facebook held a special press event yesterday to unveil some major changes it’s making to user’s newsfeeds. The changes center around making the user experience more visual and less cluttered. Photos will take center stage, enlarged to take up more of the page, so they stand out, while the navigation bar on the left-hand side will disappear. CEO Mark Zuckerberg admitted that Facebook’s newsfeed changes will also mean larger ads, but insists they are largely meant to enhance user experience. The new look will carry over to the site’s mobile apps, bringing a consistency to the brand’s look and eliminating different layouts on different devices so that the user’s experience stays the same.
The new look will also give users more control over what they want to see in their newsfeeds. They will be able to chose feeds of just friends, photos, games, pages and more, making it easy for them to keep up with the information most important to them. Zuckerberg said he wants users to think of the newsfeed as a “personalized newspaper”.
Some will say the look mimics Google + and they wouldn’t be wrong. The look is similar, and Google’s social network has been photo centric for awhile now. Facebook says they are simply following trends, but according to the Washington Post the changes were spurred by their need to convince advertisers that they are a credible and valuable venue, which in turn will make their shareholders happy.
Facebook’s newsfeed changes will not happen without some noise. Every time the site undergoes a layout change there is always a group of users who become infuriated and start protests and call for boycotts. This time will almost assuredly be no different. Over time however, the rage melts away, the protests fade and everyone goes back to their Facebook addiction until the next layout change.
Facebook says the change will begin rolling out immediately, but like past changes, it will be a gradual transition. Interested in jumping to the head of the line? Go here and get on the waiting list. What do you think of Facebook’s changes? Do you like them? Hate them? Why or why not?