Facebook’s latest News Feed redesign — featuring larger photos and text, as well as a new format for links — is likely to affect how users engage with page posts and advertisements. Here’s a comparison of how posts appear in the feed before and after the redesign, with some suggestions on how the changes might impact marketers, advertisers and developers.
The most significant change for pages is that photos will be presented in the same size as those from users. Previously, photos from pages were much smaller than others in the feed. Photo posts will be more noticeable, though it’s possible pages could see a decrease in clicks since users will be able to view them without making them larger. Still, fans might be more likely to Like or comment on photos than before, which could make promoted posts more valuable.
Pages can maximize their exposure in News Feed by posting a photo album. However, pages should be conscious of the type of images they put in fans’ feeds, since the larger size could make some fans more likely to mark a story as spam or unlike a page if they do not like the content.
Page photo before
User photo before
All photos after
Page photo album before
User photo album before
All photo albums after
Facebook now puts link information within a light gray box and increases the size of any text that users or pages share along with the link. The new design could lead to an increase in clicks, at least until users become accustomed to the change. With the larger font on links, pages should limit the amount of copy they include along with links. Users generally look past large blocks of text.
Link post before
Link post after
The new expanded page-Like Sponsored Story that includes a recent post has gotten significantly larger as part of the redesign. Simple page-Like Sponsored Stories haven’t changed, and neither have sidebar ads. Although the expanded News Feed Sponsored Stories could begin to perform better than ever, Facebook’s premium homepage ads on the right-hand side may see a decrease in engagement as a result of competing with larger text and images in the feed.
Page Post Ad before
Page Post Ad after
Page-Like Sponsored Story (same before and after)
Premium sidebar ads before
Premium sidebar ads after
Other Facebook and Open Graph activity
Stories from third-party apps or activity like changing a profile photo display the same as before. Only actively shared information — statuses, photo captions, commentary along with links — gets the larger font size. However, apps that use the Photos API, like Instagram does, will have the benefit of larger feed stories.
[Update 6/13/12 4:52 p.m. PT – Facebook now seems to be displaying Open Graph activity and other actions in the larger font, as well.]