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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Facebook Updates News Feed

Zuckerberg announced the changes to the News Feed will make it more like a digital newspaper.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg unveiled the redesigned News Feed for the social networking site at its headquarters in Menlo Park on Thursday.

The updated feed makes space for pictures and allows users to filter the type of posts that appear in their feed.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks at a press conference announcing the site's redesign. (Krystal Peak/Twitter)
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks at a press conference announcing the site's redesign. (Krystal Peak/Twitter)

Zuckerberg said he wants the News Feed to become more like a digital newspaper filled with compelling information tailored for each use.

"We are trying to make the best personalized newspaper we can," Zuckerberg said.

If history is any indiaction, the changes may spark complaints from users as was the case when the company revamped its look and privacy settings in September 2011.

Gartner analyst Brian Blau said he would like to see users have more control over how much content they see from businesses and non-people pages they follow.

"We have a 'like' but there is no degree of 'like,' it's binary," Blau said. "I need a 'like plus' or a like minus.'"

Zuckerberg made the announcement at a time when users are using the social networking site less frequently. According to a study by the Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project, 61 percent of users had taken a Facebook hiatus for reasons ranging from boredom to Lent.

Despite occassional breaks from the social media site, Facebook's user base continues to grow, especially on mobile devices. The site boasts more than 1.6 billion accounts, and it is still growing.

Although some younger users are migrating to other sites, the social media leviathan has not seen a decline in their overall user numbers. Still, the compnay is keeping an eye on user engagement.

"For example, we believe that some of our users have reduced their engagement with Facebook in favor of increased engagement with other products and services such as Instagram," the company said last month. "In the event that our users increasingly engage with other products and services, we may experience a decline in user engagement and business could be harmed."

The redesigned News Feed is meant to increase user engagement in order to boost advertising, especially on mobile devices.

Chris Cox from the Facebook mobile team called the new feed "mobile inspired."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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