On and off in the span of 2006 to 2009, Facebook redesigned their webpage what seemed like way too many times. In fact, back in that time, if you were to ask any Facebook user what their major issues were with the social site, they would tell you that they hate the constant change that they saw with the way it functioned. Since then, Facebook has calmed down with the page design calamity, only making slight changes to sidebars and changing the look of user profiles to the Timeline format. With the Facebook user count hitting the billion user mark last year, it seems that users are quite content with the look of Facebook as it is now.
So, of course Facebook has decided to change it completely. The New York Times is reporting “a substantial redesign” of Facebook’s current News Feed. Apparently, this redesign is aimed in two directions—keeping things exciting for the enormous user base and reeling in more advertisers with more attractive advertising.
Although Facebook did not really say very much at all about the redesign, the New York Times does report that Mark Zuckerberg hinted at what it may look like, stating that there will be “bigger photos, more videos and ‘more engaging ads.’” The Times also reports Zuckerberg in stating, “Advertisers want really rich things like big pictures or videos, and we haven’t provided those things historically.”
However, meeting the wants of the billions of Facebook users, while at the same time, meeting the needs of Facebook marketers may not be a very easy task. An analyst with IDC, Karsten Weide told the New York times that what users need are better and more effective filtering options. Weide then says that what advertisers need are “more flexible advertising formats.”
Advertisers have for years wanted to find new ways to show targeted ads to Facebook users, based on the vast data that the social network has about them. But Facebook has at times run into problems with new advertising products.
The way chances are, users will be very critical of the changes in the beginning, as they always have been upon a Facebook News Feed redesign. One can only hope that these users adapt and accept the changes as they have always done historically. Users usually end up actually enjoying the new features of a redesign upon getting a chance to play around with them, so there may not be much to worry about on that front.
But, will marketers be able to use the changes to their advantage in a way that Facebook is planning for? Facebook claims that they listen to the marketing community, and make changes based on their feedback. If this is true, Facebook’s improvements are cause for excitement. The company claims that their goal is to create more effective and more engaging ads, which can only be good. Since Facebook will not comment on the redesign though, we will have to wait and see what it has in store.