Not long after Facebook Co-Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the redesign of News Feed, several social media, Web, search, and design experts shared their thoughts with AllFacebook. While some love the News Feed’s visual aspects, others worry about what this could mean for pages, as many users may navigate directly to the all friends feed.
Mike Maghsoudi, Co-Founder, PostRocket:
There are now four primary feeds in which fans can find your content — News Feed (top stories), most recent, photos, and following. This is an unbelievably good thing. Luckily for pages, the following feed includes both people and pages, so if fans go there to see the latest posts from Justin Bieber or Jessica Alba, they are likely to see yours, as well.
Of course, there’s a downside, as well. The all friends feed will certainly be one of the (if not the) most popular feeds. If users choose this as their main feed, pages will suffer quite a bit. Overall, my guess is that the good and the bad will probably balance out. All of the page owners who cry foul at Facebook for failing to show their posts to their users can no longer point their fingers at Zuckerberg and his team — the power is will now be in the hands of the users, as they decide what they see (or don’t see).
Andreas Pouros, Chief Operating Officer, Greenlight:
Facebook has taken the success of advertising in peoples’ news feeds on mobile and based its News Feed redesign on mirroring that format (or close to it) on all devices — this should boost revenue.
In the last earnings call, Zuckerberg stated that Facebook had not seen any evidence that the increased advertising it introduced at that stage had had a negative impact on people. The challenge now is to “reinvent” advertising so people don’t feel they are being bombarded by ads. Facebook is now championing “high-quality advertising” in an attempt to do that.
Notwithstanding, a small minority of users think that Facebook has gone far enough with ads already (using tools like Facebook Purity to strip them out entirely). Only time will tell if Facebook has. And if it has not, when is it too much?
Overall, this update will be fantastic for marketers that are prepared to take advantage of the new visual and mobile-inspired News Feed. They should start thinking now about how to produce owned and paid content that is beautiful, compelling, and immersive. Facebook is giving users the choice to interact with content however they want, wherever they want, and brands that give consumers a good reason to engage with them will inevitably come out on top. We think this is going to have a positive impact on how much time people spend on Facebook, which can only be positive for those looking to derive business value from the platform.
Jordan Stone, Strategy Director, We Are Social:
It has been designed to encourage people to spend more time on the platform. It does look more aesthetically pleasing and user-friendly — everything is bigger, and there is greater consistency between mobile and desktop experiences. It also offers much more control of what you see, letting users zero in on friends, photos, music, etc.
Visual content is extremely important for brands on Facebook, and these changes emphasize this even further. Images will now be much more prominent, challenging marketers to stretch their creativity.
That said, increased visibility means that brands need to be more relevant than ever. They still need to work hard to make the experience more immersive and engaging. A stream of irrelevant content or ill-conceived sponsored posts will be noticed quickly by consumers.
David-Michel Davies, Executive Director, The Webby Awards:
I’m really excited to see the change to Facebook’s News Feed. If you look back at all the services that haven’t made it – Friendster, MySpace, etc. – one reason they lost their luster is because they didn’t change. These services launched with a great idea that users really loved, but users’ tastes and behaviors change, and these services didn’t adapt to the new preferences. Many times, they innovated around the edges, but didn’t fully adapt their products to fit people’s new ideas. For Facebook not to be the next Friendster, it needs to do serious innovation regularly – whether every month, six months, year, whatever the timetable may be.
People want to see the content they’re interested in. When Facebook started, it was really engaging because people generally knew the other people on the site, so they stuck around a lot. As the user base diversifies and people collect networks and friends with whom they have weaker ties, then Facebook will need to feature the content that does keep people engaged, like photos.
Readers: If you have the redesigned News Feed, what do you think?