significantly. The update will be rolling out to users in the next month or so, but from what we've seen so far, the new News Feed is a vast improvement in the Facebook experience. But because even good changes can be unsettling, here are three tips to smooth the transition when the new News Feed lands on your virtual doorstep.
1. Pay more attention to photos.
One of the biggest changes to the News Feed is the size and prominence of photos. In fact, during the press event announcing the News Feed changes, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said images will comprise 50% of total News Feed content. That picture of your adorable new baby, that once-in-a-lifetime trip to Australia, or the majestic bald eagle you spotted while hiking will be bigger and brighter, with more visible details than ever. So will the picture of your spouse on a bad hair day (or worse). So be careful what you post. Just saying.
2. Be prepared to drill down for content.
If your current Facebook News Feed is anything like mine, it's a mishmash of promoted posts, suggested pages and updates from the many brands that you've "liked." Oh, and once in a while you'll see an actual update from a friend (a real-world friend, not just the Facebook kind) or family member.
[ For more on Facebook's facelift, see Facebook News Feed: 5 Coolest Changes. ]
That's the problem -- for users and businesses alike -- that Facebook is looking to solve with its new specialized streams. At the press event, Zuckerberg compared the new News Feed to, of all things, a print newspaper, with the News Feed being the equivalent of a front page and new specialized streams akin to the different sections in a newspaper. With the new News Feed, you can choose to consume content from streams dedicated to (among other things) music, photos or updates from pages that you follow. It may take a little getting used to, but this new interface promises to streamline the end-user experience and make it generally more effective.
3. Add the Facebook app to your iPhone and iPad.
If you haven't bothered to use Facebook on your mobile device because you heard the experience was subpar, you should go ahead and download the app soon. It's true that the News Feed of old offered what could be kindly called a less-than-optimal experience, but Facebook designed the new News Feed with mobile in mind from the start. In fact, the Facebook experience on your mobile device will be the same as that on a PC. Facebook says the News Feed changes will roll out to iOS first, then to Android.
Have you gotten the new News Feed yet? If so, what advice would you give to those just starting with it? Please let us know what you think in the comments section below.
Follow Deb Donston-Miller on Twitter at @debdonston.
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