How Visual Content Will Rule The World
Facebook’s radical new approach to its News Feed feature is slowly being deployed across its millions of users. Whenever Facebook has a redesign there is bound to be a little bit of controversy. So what are the good and bad points of the new design?
Well it looks really good. Scrolling down News Feed is now a much more visual experience. Image thumbnails are bigger and have greater prominence. Links shared on your News Feed are now displayed with a much bigger snippet of preview information.
When multiple friends share the same link or like the same object their profile pictures are stacked together. Hovering over each picture reveals what that person said about the link. It’s a clever way of concisely displaying lots of information.
News Feed now gives you the opportunity to follow content-specific feeds. Classic news feed (a mixture of popular and recent posts) remains while it is possible to follow content purely from friends. Other feeds include dedicated feeds for photos, music, games, groups and many more.
One of the main aims of the design team was to make user’s Facebook experience more consistent. Using the new desktop News Feed is very reminiscent of the responsive and fluid feel of the mobile and tablet apps. News Feed is more focused and has been decluttered somewhat to replicate the mobile feel.
Despite all these good points there are one or two negative aspects. Some of the new content specific feeds such as “all friends” and “following” (i.e. pages you like) displays some trivial and uninteresting posts.
The new design also gives more prominence to pages that your friends like. As a result it is quite possible that more space on your News Feed is dedicated to the businesses’ market material.
This may mean you spend more time looking at content you do not have any interesting in.
Overall it is pretty clear the new design is an improvement on News Feed’s previous incarnation but its success will depend on how well Facebook curates the information it contains.