Big changes coming to Facebook

Facebook
Photo Credit Shift Communications

Just as users get accustomed to the latest changes, Facebook goes and changes again.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the social network will be rolling out a radical new redesign of “News Feed”, the biggest since it launched the feature in 2006.

The redesign will give users new ways to catch up with what friends are doing by sorting through photos they share or music they are listening to, according to the Times. The changes is designed to address a frequent complaint from users that they have too little control over what appears in their “News Feed”.

Facebook uses a secret algorithm to only show you the updates it thinks will interest you, although they have been accused of manipulating updates to get people to buy ads. Facebook denies this.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained the effort to create what he called a “personalized newspaper” in a press conference Thursday:

“Now that we all have cameras in our pockets, “News Feed” has become primarily about visual content. Almost 50 percent of content in the news feed is visual. Now the average news feed Pages posts are almost 30 percent of the content. How we’re sharing is changing. We all want to share with friends, but want updates from publications we care about, and artists, and world leaders.”

The roll out will start immediately and will be slow and careful so Facebook can get feedback about what’s working and what’s not, TechCrunch notes. Further changes to expect include:

Some other news feed design changes: check-ins to places now have a larger map to show people exactly where you are; Pinterest posts to Facebook are now more vivid, so what you see on Facebook “better reflects what you see on Pinterest”; videos appear larger; and if multiple friends share the same post, you’ll see their faces to the left of the post.

Facebook is also trying to better surface trending content. So you’ll see “Recent Articles About Taylor Swift” that come from different news sources if you Like her.

TechCrunch created a quick hands-on video of what the redesign looks and feels like. In afternoon trading on the Nasdaq after the announced changes, Facebook’s stock rose by two percent to trade just shy of $28.

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