Facebook's updated News Feed cuts through clutter, boredom
Analysts say streamlined redesign will help reduce useless noise and deliver better info (see video below)
Computerworld - Facebook's redesigned News Feed may help keep users flooded with information from quitting the social network.
"I think people have just been tiring of Facebook and all the irrelevant stuff on their News Feed blocking out the stuff they're actually interested in," said Rob Enderle, an analyst with the Enderle Group. "It's totally a step in the right direction by trying to address the issue that there's too much junk and not enough stuff that you really want to read."
On Thursday, Facebook unveiled a different look for its News Feed, showing larger images and offering different feeds based on users' interests.
Facebook is letting users customize their News Feed, offering different feeds that focus on friends, music and photos, for instance. Users can choose to view their News Feed chronologically, or they can opt for the Music feed, for example, which focuses on what songs their friends are listening to, albums their favorite bands are releasing and concerts that are coming up.
In essence, the social network is giving users more control over what they see on their home pages... and what they don't.
"The addition of new dedicated news feeds, such as a photo feed or music feed, will help users find more relevant content that better matches their interests," said Brian Blau, an analyst with Gartner Inc. "More content is a great addition for users and making the vast store of content on Facebook more accessible to its users will help them find more value from the service."
That, said Enderle, is key if Facebook is going to continue to keep users hooked on the site in the long run.
"What they're doing is providing a higher degree of focus on categories, which makes Facebook much more relevant," he added. "You're less likely to get bored and you'll stay on the site longer if you're not seeing so much stuff you're not interested in.... I think one of the reasons their stock has remained relatively low is because people have just been tiring of Facebook. This should offset that substantially."
Brad Shimmin, an analyst with Current Analysis, said the redesign should not only keep users more engaged but should also help drive revenue.
"Instead of putting revenue schemes first and foremost, Facebook appears concerned with enhancing the user experience itself, hoping or assuming that revenue will follow," he said.
Shimmin also noted that in redesigning News Feed, Facebook may have taken a page from one of its main social rivals - Google+.
"My first, unwashed impression was, 'Wow, that looks an awful lot like Google+,' he added. "Google+ helps users organize news feeds according to very flexible Circles of friends. What I do like about the way Facebook is handling this same sort of experience, though, is the ability to organize feeds according to the type of post, music, video, company, etc.
"This, combined with user-organized feeds, will greatly cut down on event stream clutter."
Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, on Google+ or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed . Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Marketers are losing faith in Facebook
- Facebook may lure teen users back with virtual reality promise
- Facebook's Oculus VR buy is about more than gaming
- Facebook spends $2B on virtual reality firm, but analysts are skeptical
- Facebook launches redesign with a bit of the old, a bit of the new
- Facebook eyes solar-powered drone company
- Facebook coughs up $19B for WhatsApp's younger users
- Facebook buying WhatsApp for $16 billion
- Facebook's birthday present: A look back at your social life
- At 10, Facebook strives not to be your granny's social network
Read more about Social Media in Computerworld's Social Media Topic Center.
- Path Selection Infographic Path Selection Infographic
- Hyperconvergence Infographic A wide range of observers agree that data centers are now entering an era of "hyperconvergence" that will raise network traffic levels faster...
- Preparing Your Infrastructure for the Hyperconvergence Era From cloud computing and virtualization to mobility and unified communications, an array of innovative technologies is transforming today's data centers.
- How WAN Optimization Helps Enterprises Reduce Costs If you wanted to break down innovation into a tidy equation, it might go something like this: Technology + Connectivity = Productivity. Productivity...
- Cloud Knowledge Vault Learn how your organization can benefit from the scalability, flexibility, and performance that the cloud offers through the short videos and other resources...
- LIVE EVENT: 5/7, The End of Data Protection As We Know It. Introducing a Next Generation Data Protection Architecture. Traditional backup is going away, but where does this leave end-users? All Social Media White Papers | Webcasts
Our new weekly Consumerization of IT newsletter covers a wide range of trends including BYOD, smartphones, tablets, MDM, cloud, social and what it all means for IT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!