Facebook's News Feed Update Makes Your Images King

Blog > Facebook's News Feed Update Makes Your Images King

Posted By Create

Facebook LogoFacebook has announced a significant update to its News Feed, the 'Home' screen of your Facebook profile, where you see stories from friends that might interest you. Changes include larger images and videos, a new layout similar to the mobile experience and (gasp!) more prominent advertising.

Nothing is quite as guaranteed in social media as change, and Facebook is a master of it. Early last year the social networking giant's revamp of its timeline meant you could go back and start posting your whole pre-Facebook life story, and late last year came the dreaded 'Promoted Posts' update, which effectively cut the audience who saw your Facebook business posts in their feed by as much as three quarters.

This week's announced update, a refresh of the News Feed (the first in several years) goes a bit further with both of these updates. It sees Facebook attempting to cosy up to advertisers and those promoting their posts and products even more by making advertising, music and game use more prominent in the feed, but it also significantly improves the usability and attractiveness of the site. The official line is that it's an attempt to reduce 'clutter' on the news feed and to align the Facebook experiences on mobile and web.

From a user perspective the increase in ads is risky, as heavy social media users are nototriously cynical and easily irked when it comes to changes percived to be implemented solely for the benefit of shareholders. However, those using Facebook to promote their business can seen this as a positive change that's worth taking advantage of.

Facebook News FeedThe updated News Feed emphasises image over text, as seen on Facebook's offical 'News Feed' page.

Mark Zuckerberg now wants Facebook to be a 'personalised newspaper' (far from the 'cooler version of Friends Reunited' it was seen as when it first gained popularity), feeding its users news stories, advertising, updates from friends and celebrity stories in a switched-up layout, the success of which remains to be seen. But another element that will promote these kinds of updates further is a larger focus on images.

One of the main differences users will notice as the updated News Feed is rolled out in the coming weeks is the prominence and enlarged size of images and videos. Photos now make up roughly half of all content on Facebook and so it makes sense to use them to improve the look and feel of the feed. Many have noted the similarity between the new News Feed layout and Google+'s longstanding feed, but bear in mind Google+ recently nabbed Facebook's cover photo idea for its profiles too (perhaps the two should get a room...).

Facebook news feed quoteSimply put, if you post a photo on your Facebook business page timeline, it will be more likely than links or status updates to appear in news feeds. This may not exactly do wonders for our collective attention span, but it can benefit your business as people are more likely to take an interest in the content of an image than a text post or a link.

Another important aspect for businesses is that when someone 'likes' your business page not only will text of this interaction appear in news feeds but so will a preview of your business' Facebook page, with your profile picture and cover photo in full view of the world. Considering this, it's important to make sure that your Facebook cover photo and profile picture are fantastic, as they'll no longer only be visible to those that directly visit your Facebook page.

You can read more about this update at Forbes (which trumpets the benefits to businesses), BBC News (a detailed look at the new layout and other tweaks) or if you're a fan of the horse's mouth, Facebook itself, where you can add yourself to the new feed's waiting list if you're an early adopter or if you just want to see what the fuss is about.

I'll be back soon with more on the new News Feed but for now I'd recommend working on your cover photo, reconsidering the content you post on social media and brushing up on your photography and Photoshop skills. And if you haven't yet built your Facebook Shop with Create, now's a great time to do so. It only takes two clicks!

Let us know what you think of the news and how it will affect your business on Facebook in the comments below! 

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