Facebook’s New News Feed: 8 Things to Know

Source: Jess Scanlon

Facebook’s (NASDAQ:FB) new News Feed premiered on users’ homepages recently. While for longtime Facebook users a redesign may not be newsworthy, this one deserves some attention simply because the new design is a change from past changes; the News Feed has become more modular, with cleaner lines.

Also it looks nothing like a prototype from last year, when changes to the homepage were first teased. Here’s a rundown of what’s different and what’s stayed the same.

1. Photos are huge

Whether it’s your friend’s photos from vacation or the photo accompanying a link, pictures displayed on the News Feed are bigger. After years of squinting at thumbnails, this is a pretty welcome change.

2. Buttons are square

Those little icons for your pages, groups, and games all got a makeover. The default buttons are very square in the geometric sense. Custom buttons for groups and games seem unaffected beyond a slight resizing. The buttons for recommended pages in the right-hand column have also been resized larger.

Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/goiabarea/

Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/goiabarea/

3. Three new fonts debut

One of the more subtle design changes in this version of the News Feed is the change in fonts. Common fonts Arial and Helvetica are the primary fonts on this new page, but a third font with major style differences has been added, too.

The headlines on links have a new serif font, Georgia. Serif fonts are fonts with small flourishes that are supposed to make them easier to read. (Term paper favorite Times New Roman is an example of a serif font.).

4. The design is inspired by the mobile version

It’s a desktop webpage imitating an app instead of an app imitating the desktop. Last year, when Facebook announced these changes to the News Feed, the company said that the new design would be inspired by the mobile app.

5. Ads didn’t change

The right column of Facebook’s homepage still has its ad section. Sponsored ads are still a regular feature of the News Feed. Those sponsored ads have gone through the same design changes as user-generated posts, with larger photos and the new font. The good news here is that section has not grown larger, nor do there seem to be more ads in the feed than usual.

Mark Zuckerberg facebook timeline

6. The “Trending” section gets a home

The newly added “Trending” feature has been moved up to below the notification section that tells you whom to wish a “Happy Birthday” and which of your friends still won’t give up on the original FarmVille game.

7.  Overall, the design is cleaner

The new homepage has a much simpler look than its previous incarnation. The columns have a bit more space between them, as do individual posts in News Feed.

8. The ticker/chat column is unaffected

For those who like to know what their friends are doing in real time and who’s online for a chat, there is no adjustment. The ticker/chat column on the far-right side of the screen seems largely unaffected except for the aforementioned font changes.

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