March is the month for changes, it seems. Following the changes to Google+ that I wrote about last week comes an array of alterations to Facebook. Let’s take a look at what has happened to your news feed this time.
The Facebook Timeline has been a constant point of contention so it is no real surprise that we are seeing a lot of change to it. For one thing, the confusing layout of recent months is going away. Instead there will be multiple feeds with prominent navigation at the top of the page.
The new feeds being implemented will be as follows:
- “Groups” shows posts from all of the groups you are part of.
- “Photos” shows photos shared by your friends and the Pages you have liked. This is where you will find photos from Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.
- “All Friends” shows posts from only your friends, in the order they posted them. According to Facebook, there will be no ads or Page posts visible here.
- “Following” shows posts from people you follow and Pages you like in the order they were posted. This is where Page posts are viewable.
- “Most Recent” shows stories in the order they were posted. That way you don’t miss anything.
- “Games” shows updates from the games you and your friends are playing, by using the best headsets to playing them also, like the ones in this sades sa 902 7.1 review
- “Music” shows posts from the artists you like and what your friends are listening to.
- “Close Friends,” “Family,” and other friend lists show posts from just the friends on that list.
- “News Feed” will show you the most relevant stories since you last checked Facebook. As has been the case for some time, if you wish to see stories in the order they were posted, switch to your “Most Recent” feed.
Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter are the go-to platforms for the younger set these days. They and others like them have the immediacy of text messages coupled with the online persistency of social media.
If my own teens are anything to go by, the latest information is being shared elsewhere, and Facebook chats are a thing of the past. There are dedicated streams from your friends on Twitter, and images galore on Instagram.
Is it possible that in a social media environment where being new is fifty percent of the battle, Facebook is starting to feel a little old? It feels like Facebook is at a crossroads, no longer the young, hip social network but instead a news portal, an entertainment channel, a photo gallery, and most importantly, an ad network.
Facebook emphasized mobile experience from the start with this update, a sensible strategy when 68% of its users access Facebook with a tablet of smartphone. The new incarnation of the platform has, according to Facebook, been designed to look consistent across all devices: desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones.
Aiming for Adults
Vila is not the first one to note that Facebook has lost that “new car smell,” but she does suggest that it’s the reason for the latest round of changes:
The idea behind the dedicated streams is to present more of a magazine-style format, where users can drill down to the content they want. The more Facebook can organize its vast treasure trove of content, the more it can extend engagement. And the longer people spend on the site, the happier marketers will be.
But it also suggests the social media site is starting to reshape itself for the future; a future where it concentrates on the needs of adults and businesses, rather than non-wage-earning minors. And that may reflect an uncomfortable truth: with so many moms and dads clogging up its pages, Facebook is no longer the cool place to hang out for under-18s.
Since I’ve received a barrage of Facebook invites from aunts and cousins just this week, this makes a lot of sense to me right now.
George "Loki" Williams is the community and brand manager for award wining game company Savage Mojo, Ltd. and the owner of SocialGumbo, LLC, an online consultancy specializing in Web content and online communications. Loki has produced content for clients including the Open Society Institute, National Association of Broadcasters, Kobold Press, and Kaiser Permanente. His work has been seen or written about in The New York Times, The BBC, Air America, The Gambit Weekly, and NOLA.com, among others.