Thursday, March 7, 2013

Visual. Rich. Engaging. Facebook?

Facebook moves from a “single stream of content” and is evolving the user experience. Have a seat; lots of information to absorb here. 

Zuckerberg, who spoke first (naturally!) said “We are trying to give everyone in the world the best newspaper we can” and went on to state that Facebook would become more like a personalized newspaper with broad diversity; both global and local (referring to the friends and people around you).

He pointed out that almost 50% of all posts are now photos or visual in some fashion and showed a chart demonstrating the rise of visual content over time. Bravo that you are paying attention to trends! “How we’re all sharing is changing!” Zuckerberg exclaimed. Bravo that you are paying attention to trends! 

BIG news: The increasing SIZE of visuals making them "more immersive", including more prominent use of cover art which of course is an extension of you! Not only photos, but photo albums too.
Maps get larger too. You DO want to see precisely where your friends are, right? 

Note that titles in both of the examples above are larger as well; this addressing the eyesight of an aging population? 

Events play a bigger role too. You'll be better informed about what's happening based on what you've attended in the past plus see more about events that your friends may be going to. 

Moving towards a more visual experience includes different feeds. So now we’ll have a photo feed, a music feed, a feed for pages you like (wait, isn’t that with us already?), and a feed with ALL of your friend’s content (ALL of them? Yes, how many of us have wanted that BACK!). And in chronological order too!

More information on what you like. One example used Taylor Swift. If you're a fan of her page, you'll also receive related articles about her.

Sure some of the above you'll probably embrace; other stuff, not so much! We all need to experiment. And let's hope as they roll this out, which will happen slowly, that they DO listen to the feedback we give to them and "tweak" it all for the better. This raises a question: WHERE and HOW will we give feedback? 

You'll also be able to "drill down" through information. Now this I really like because I like to peel layers back and get down to those nuggets. Oops, that's my inner market researcher speaking!

More prominence for third parties. Pinterest received a few mentions (as did Instagram of course).  

And more...

Multiple sharing of the same post is brought together and it will easy to see all comments. This has already been happening to some extent; suspect they are upping it a notch.

A richer, simpler, more beautiful newsfeed BOTH on your pc and on mobile. This was stressed a few times duing the presentation. Consistency is key. Every one presenting today brought up the word. The experience on mobile and on PC will be similar, however, more time will be spent "drilling down" and exploring further on PC since that feature will be limited on mobile.

Now here's something that's nice. That mobile feature of keeping the feed stagnant and not whizzing by will be coming to PC as well. You'll get a message in the upper right informing you of how many new stories there are. Yay.

They'll be different feeds including photo and music. Facebook "noticed" how important music is in our lives and wants to build on that. Wonder how this will affect pages such as my Groovy Reflections page that prominently features music? 

Now, I have to admit that I lost part of the broadcast near the end because my vacuum robot decided to clean by my modem and yanked the wires! Please don't laugh. I'm sure the east coast heard me yelling about it as I scrambled to reset the modem!

What prompted the changes? Was it the number of folks leaving Facebook and moving to Google+? Is it an effort to increase the number of users in a particular market; the U.S. perhaps? Will the stock go up? Or, drum roll please are they being pro-active instead of reactive? There WAS a survey going out to some users a few weeks back. I don't know what the questions were unfortunately, however, I certainly hope they were getting feedback in regards to the upcoming changes. And better yet, I hope they conducted some focus groups to get feedback from a representative sample of users and not just feedback from their employees.

Whew! Are you ready for it all or groaning now? 

We're going to keep our thoughts positive. 3 Dog Night sums in up nicely in the tune below. And do celebrate with us on our website, or on TwitterFacebook, or Google+


Jayne5755 said...

I joined FB three years ago and have endured a number of changes.Time will tell if this will be an improvement or hinderance and I can tell you one thing, many people don't like change.

@kstaxman said...

FaceBook for what ever else you think about it is has always been about innovation and change. Mark showed that again today. And for the most part the changes to the format are good. I have concerns more with the continued growth of paid ad content and the lessening of our content being shared as completely as it has been in the past. But those are issues removed from the format change.

Shannon Grissom said...

So ready :O)