Facebook takes on news layout

Facebook takes on news layout

In yet another rearrangement of the standard layout, Facebook is transforming its news feed to resemble more traditional news formats. Taking its cue from the information hierarchies used by traditional newspapers, Facebook has announced a new look for user home pages that will push new posts on a topically-relevant basis.

The new design will involve fewer dramatic changes than some of the social media site’s recent revamps, but does represent a new attitude to fresh posts. While formerly users were notified of new status updates, photo posts and other activity chronologically, they will now be given ‘top stories’ that represent their interests. Users with lots of friends in Chester, for example, will receive Chester news upfront, rather than within a lengthy list. Updates will still be available in chronological order via a real-time ticker, to be featured to the right side of the screen, and a ‘new stories’ button that sits above the top stories section.

The change is in line with Facebook’s shift toward increased personalisation of home pages. The social media company’s other recent changes, such as the introduction of a ‘subscribe’ button, have placed more emphasis on user preferences. The new news feed format follows along these lines of using behaviour to filter information.

Changed news feeds will undoubtedly change the way businesses market on Facebook. The social media campaigns that rely on Facebook exposure for link building as part of an SEO campaign may have a tougher time of it if user profiles begin excluding certain messages. The full impact of Facebook’s personalisation efforts, however, will only become clear with time.

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