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Facebook announces major news feed overhaul

Graeme Parton

More space is being devoted to content on Facebook after the site’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, announced a significant layout update.

Zuckerberg, 28, unveiled the new look at a much-hyped press event in San Francisco last week, saying the changes would “reduce clutter” on the network.

The move will see more space on the site’s pages dedicated to games and music. Check-ins, photographs and other updates will also be more prominent for users of the updated news feed, which now features individual tabs for different types of content.

Facebook’s redesign has put emphasis on visual content, with a new left-sided navigation bar leaving more space for imagery and videos. More prominence has also been given to advertising; a move which is unlikely to cause celebration among the site’s billion-strong user-base.

Users only started to see advertisements pop up in their news feeds last year, but it has proved to be a vital part of the business. Talking about the new promotional focus, internet analyst Ian Maude said:

“The news feed advertising is where Facebook is having the success, both on mobile and on the desktop. The trick is going to be managing the volume of ads people see in the news feed and getting the balance right between maximising revenue but also keeping users happy.”

Twitter has been suggested as the obvious inspiration for the new ‘following’ section found on Facebook users’ pages. The feature will be dedicated to displaying the status updates of famous figures, news sources and brands.

While blatant advertising isn’t always met with cheers by Facebook’s users, businesses can increase the awareness of their brand by using the social network intelligently to target consumers with engaging content. Alongside useful information, visual materials like videos and infographics can play a big part in the success of such a strategy.

Graeme has experience creating content for online sources and for the radio, and at university he studied Multimedia Journalism.

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