Despite tweaking its algorithms and Knowledge Graph results all the time, Google seems downright conservative compared to Facebook. The social networking site can’t seem to decide on a homepage and frequently adjusts how Stories, Posts and friends look when people first log in, as Brafton has reported.
Facebook is at it again, but this time, the changes are relatively minor. According to an official FB blog post, the powers-that-be acknowledged the latest News Feed design was popular among users but could stand to be a little more navigable. Yet the real question is: How will the reported improvements work, and what will they mean for social marketing?
It should be pretty clear now, but the point is worth repeating: Visual content is incredibly important for social media visibility. Facebook’s updated News Feed continues the tradition of emphasizing large pictures and allowing them to take up more of the screen. Don’t let pictures on your website dominate customers’ browsers, but get comfortable allowing pictures to sprawl. Big is good, but huge is unwieldy.
When major players like Twitter and Facebook implement updates, it’s time to pay attention.
A growing trend in digital design is to use tiles or units to demarcate the lines between different types of content. Think Pinterest, Windows 8 or iPads. Facebook will soon draw clearer lines between pieces of content. In theory, this will make content more shareable and clickable, which is what web marketing should ultimately strive to do.
One of the best ways to ensure a blog or website doesn’t send users clicking away is to continue giving them more interesting content to read. Similarly, Facebook is taking its own related content – friends you might know, birthdays and trending topics – and making them less a sidebar and more a part of the feed itself. This is a good lesson to bear in mind, as it demonstrates how to integrate related posts and calls to action with the bulk of web content.
Bear in mind that this might also be an experiment intended to test users’ willingness to download the new Paper app that Brafton reported on. Mobile is an enormously important user base for social media networks, and Facebook might be interested in getting as many people as possible to go mobile.
Facebook isn’t the last word in web construction and layout design by any means, but its obsessive tweaks should be used as a window into how the ‘net at large is evolving. When major players like Twitter and Facebook implement updates, it’s time to pay attention.
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