If you’re one of those people who just don’t like change, you’re not going to like Facebook’s new plans.
The social media behemoth is planning to unveil a new look for its popular newsfeed next week. The Californian company will showcase the makeover at a special event on March 7 at its headquarters.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg has previously described Facebook’s newsfeed as one of the three “pillars” of the site. So getting any changes spot on so they don’t alienate users is ultra important.
It is just the latest in a series of moves by the web company to revamp key elements of its one billion-member social network.
Newsfeed shows users an ever-changing stream of comments, images and videos which are being uploaded by their friends, so is key to keeping up-to-date with all the goings on in your social circle.
So far, Facebook is remaining tight lipped about the changes. The invitation to the event only says: “Come see a new look for News Feed.”
It comes after complaints from users that if you have lots of friends or a few brand likes, your Facebook newsfeed can soon get very busy. At the same time people have also pointed out that the social network’s algorithms for showing selected posts can often leave out updates from friends that they would have liked to see.
The last major update to the newsfeed came almost a year and a half ago when Facebook started to include ads directly into the feed and started to think more about giving the best “mobile first experiences” as more and more users now access the site on their mobile devices rather than desktop PCs.
Brian Blau, who is an analyst with industry research firm Gartners said he believed the move could bring the mobile version of Facebook up to speed as it is still lacking some of the features you can access on the PC version. “So maybe this is a way to bring some of that together,” he said.
And, while Facebook has come in for some flak after it went public last year for supposedly not having enough money-making avenues in place to satisfy investors, shares in the social network have risen following the revamp announcement, going up nearly two per cent.
It’s not clear yet exactly what the changes will be or whether Zuckerberg will be speaking himself, but it is believed the change could further enhance ad engagement to make Facebook an even more viable commercial proposition.
Whatever the changes turn out to be, they must be fairly radical ones if Facebook feels the need for a full-blown press event, which it tends to hold just a handful of times each year.
The last large-scale press conference Facebook held was in January to announce graph search, a bid by the site to keep users on Facebook by making a significant move into search.
At the time, Zuckerberg described graph search as the “third pillar” of Facebook after the news feed and timeline.