How Should Journalists Adapt To Facebook’s New ‘Personalized Newspaper’ News Feed?

By David Cohen 

Facebook Co-Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg compared the social network’s revamped News Feed to a personalized newspaper when it was introduced Thursday at a press event at its headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. But how does the new News Feed impact actual journalists?

Parallel with the advice Facebook offered to brands and application developers, the new News Feed’s “vibrant and visual format” was emphasized by Journalism Program Manager Vadim Lavrusik in a note on the Facebook + Journalists page.

Lavrusik wrote that 522 pixels wide is the new measurement for stories with photos and videos, adding that cover photos should receive extra scrutiny, as they will now appear with all of Facebook’s new connection stories.

More details from Lavrusik’s note follow:

The new design will enable journalists to not only to keep up with content in new ways, but also to share more vibrant stories with their audience on Facebook.

The new design includes categorized feeds, giving journalists more control to see updates that they’re interested in keeping up with. And with each story type having been rebuilt, the new design enables journalists to share news articles, photos and updates in a much more vibrant and visual format. It also includes new story types that make it easier to discover content from sources you care about.

You’ll see all the stories you saw in your News Feed before, but with a fresh new look. We’ve completely rebuilt each story to be more vibrant and highlight the content that people and pages you’re connected to are sharing. This means the behind-the-scenes photos you share from your reporting and news articles written all have new designs that emphasize the content you’re sharing. News article links have bolder headlines with bigger photos attached to them, making the content more engaging for the audience you’re sharing with. Because many of the stories are more visual, you’ll have to consider using larger image sizes to fit into the wider photo story (552 pixels wide). Uploaded videos are full width now, too.

Connection stories now include the cover photo of the page or profile being liked, followed, or friended. This means having an engaging cover photo that tells your or your page’s story is even more important to improve your discovery through connection stories.

Stories include context about the people and pages who shared it. For example, if multiple pages or people share the same news article, you’ll see the pages and people who shared it next to the story. You’re able to click on each one to see what they said about the article.

The new design also includes new story types that enable you to discover more content from the people and pages you care about. These include story units that show you the most shared articles on Facebook from media websites of pages you’ve liked, most shared links about pages you’ve liked, and upcoming events from pages you’ve liked.

For example, if you’ve liked The Huffington Post’s page, you may see a unit that shows you the articles being shared the most from The Huffington Post website.

Readers: What opportunities do you see for journalists seeking to take advantage of the social network’s revamped News Feed?