In case you hadn’t heard Facebook (official link) is unleashing a new format/layout/design of it’s news feed. This is the screen that you, me and the rest of the world stare at daily (US adults average of 8 hours month). The change represents a big deal for all sorts of reasons.
Some time ago now Facebook changed their Edge Rank algorithm to favour it’s advertising model. Some brands noted a marked drop in engagement for their updates. To some it seemed like a merciless penny pinching exercise, but now we can see what all the fuss was about.
The most obvious thing about the News Feed design is white space. In fact Facebook have gone as far as to heavily down play their own branding by replacing the old facebook logo (top-left) with a simple ‘f’ that reflects the smart phone app icon (i.e. the one we all recognise anyway). This huge new canvas, and the fact that there are new banner dimensions for brands to grab, means that the creative agencies of this world can really flex their muscles.
This is both good and bad. Obviously there are great creative agencies, but there are also bad ones, so we can all look forward to ads that look as bad as the lol-cats videos that we still all suffer from.
I’m all for the redesign. The current trend for white space and really clear layout is a good one that aso reflects the trend for responsive design for cross-platform usage, we’ll just have to see how it influences engagement, and more importantly for Facebook, how it helps drive brands to spend more on their advertising and drive up their share price.
Further reading: What Facebook’s New News Feed Means for Marketers