“Cluttered”. This word is commonly used to describe News Feeds of users after frustrating scrolls of unrelatable content fill their screens. Brands, pages, public figures, friends and acquaintances compete for valuable real estate in which engagement is the ultimate prize. Organizing News Feeds, controlling what content is surfaced, and cleaner layouts have been on the request line up from Facebook users for quite some time. Turns out, the social media giant was listening.
Facebook’s Upcoming Changes
On Thursday, Facebook announced one of the biggest platform changes since the News Feed was first released. A New Look for News Feed is on the horizon and will slowly roll out to users worldwide. The changes all revolve around one key goal: to make content easier and more relevant to engage in. From Mark Zuckerberg himself, Facebook’s aim is to give everyone in the world the best personalized newspaper possible.
Photos and videos will be enlarged, a cleaner look will take effect and there will soon be a seamless presentation across mobile, desktop and tablet devices. The biggest change, however, resides in the ability for users to choose their News Feeds, giving more control over who and what they’re engaging with on Facebook. Among the new News Feed options include:
All Friends – a feed that shows everything your friends are sharing
Photos – a feed comprised of, you guessed it, all photos
Music – a feed of all the music that you listen to
Following – a feed with content from all the pages and public figured that you follow
Facebook is also now giving users the option to sort their News Feeds chronologically, for those who want to shy away from relying on Facebook’s algorithm to determine what content is surfaced to them.
What Does It All Mean?
The changes are clearly catered toward usability and making the platform more relevant and engaging, which raises concerns for brand pages (and, thus, your blog). The ability to control the News Feed means that users can engage with only their friends, and no brands, on the platform. Though your blog’s daily status update has been made, the disentanglement of the News Feed could correlate with less eyes.
But hope is not lost, in fact, the changes are a good thing. Why? The ability to choose to interact with a feed that contains all your favorite brand, blog and page updates means that you are willing and more ready to engage with that content, as opposed to having it filtered in between other status updates. Facebook has essentially made sure that when users want to receive blog or brand communication, they’re in the mindset to do so. Before, when these updates were given in between social interactions, they were easier to block out and pass over.
…And What About My Blog?
All of these changes will absolutely affect the consumption of your blog’s Facebook page, status updates and content.
It’s a well known fact that pairing post links with an image encourages interaction, but Facebook just guaranteed that photos are your golden ticket for further reach. The presence of a photo-specific News Feed is telling within itself. If your blog page shares a photo, it’s now in the Following feed and the Photo feed. Twice the feed presence means twice the opportunity for eyes, doubling your blog’s chances for being seen. How’s that for math?
Additionally, where before a cover photo was only seen on your blog’s profile page, it may now show up in the News Feeds of friends of those who’ve liked the page. This means that your cover photo should be as compelling, interesting, and attention grabbing as possible. Time to double check that it’s the best representation possible for your blog – it could be the difference that promotes a new reader’s “Like”.
Above all, make sure to create shareable content. If a reader shares your status update, it’s now in the News Feeds of their friends, who are most likely viewing their All Friends News Feed as opposed to the Following News Feed, which contains updates from other brands and pages. (Was that as confusing to read as it was to type?) In other words, you’ve now just cut through the clutter of other brand or blog updates by crossing over to a different feed. Thus, the key to more eyes is to create content that is sharable, which in many cases means great photos.
As the new News Feed rolls out, bloggers will certainly learn more as we begin to explore the updated look and functionality. There will be plenty of updates and discoveries that will accompany these explorations, and quite frankly, I’m excited. The one constant with Facebook is its constant evolution, and as social media guru’s, we’ve got to embrace these changes and adapt.
Emily VanderBeek is a digital advertising professional living & playing in Chicago. She is the blogger behind Isn't That Charming, a lifestyle blog focused on the fashions, DIY projects & inspirations that charm her socks off.
[Image credit: Mashable]