Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 July 2014

Facebook reveals 'richer' news feed

Facebook
Facebook

Facebook has announced that it is rolling out a "richer, simpler, more beautiful" news feed starting today.

Speaking from the company's headquarters in Menlo Park, California, founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said his vision for the new design was for it to be the "best personalised newspaper".

By filtering feeds into categories such as photos, music and news from the pages that users like, the move would "reduce clutter" and focus on the stories that each of the site's one billion users care about, Mr Zuckerberg said.

Describing it as a "big change", Facebook added that pictures would be larger and "more beautiful", with the revamp moving the website's look closer to that of its iOS and Android apps.

It is thought that adverts - one of Facebook's main sources of revenue - will now take up more space on the screen and be harder to ignore.

One of the pillars of the Facebook service, the news feed shows comments, photos and videos from a user's friends and is usually the first page accessed when logging in.

It is the second big Facebook innovation announced this year after the company unveiled a new search engine for content uploaded by its users in January.

Tech experts said the new-look news feed highlighted the "looming conflict between user experience and driving more ad dollars".

Andreas Pouros, chief operating officer at London-based digital marketing agency Greenlight, said the company had sought to expand on its success in attracting advertising to its mobile phone apps.

He said: "Facebook's latest move is shrewd in that it has redesigned the news feed to mirror that on mobile where it has proved successful from an advertising perspective.

"In January, Facebook revealed its mobile ad sales had more than doubled on the previous quarter to total 306 million US dollars (£203.8 million), to account for 23% of the social network's overall ad revenues.

"In the last earnings call Zuckerberg stated 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."

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