Facebook's "Personalized Newspaper" May Be a Hit

Mar 11, 2013

Facebook users have grown used to the griping of fellow users who are upset over the latest changes to the layout, but the News Feed changes proposed last week seem to be flying under the radar. With these changes, CEO Mark Zuckerberg promised a "personalized newspaper" - which seems like a wise decision, considering the popularity of tools like Flipboard, that create personalized newspapers by pulling in content from users' social media accounts.

The News Feed is getting a facelift with larger images, and less clutter - but users will also now have a choice about which feeds they want to see, choosing between topics like music, friends, and organizations. Facebook will also cut back on its control over what you see, meaning that more content will be displayed, rather than having been so heavily pre-edited by Facebook. These are only some of the changes, but so far the new look seems to be getting good reviews. Craig Kanalley wrote on The Huffington Post:

"The 'All Friends' feed is one of the most addicting parts of the new Facebook homepage. It's real-time, and it's easily accessible at all times, just one click away in the top right of the screen. It delivers your friends, and only your friends, no sponsored posts, no brands, nothing else. It's refreshing to see friends only and easy to obsess over this stream, visiting often to see which of your friends posted 30 seconds ago and what it was they thought important enough to share."

Over on Information Week, Debra Donston-Miller wrote:

"With the exception of Facebook Graph Search -- which was significant for some of the wrong reasons -- the new features Facebook has rolled out recently have been pretty underwhelming. That is definitely not the case with Facebook's new News Feed."

And because the changes are being rolled out to users slowly, there are some people who are already clamoring for a change. Why the change in attitude among users? Well, Facebook has, in many ways, taken cues from its competition. Pinterest and YouTube have made it clear that images and videos are important to users, and Flipboard has delivered value by presenting content to users in a visually pleasing, digestible manner. And most importantly, Facebook is putting users and their networks back at the center of things, remembering what got the company where it is in the first place.

If you're in a hurry to see your News Feed change, you can sign-up to be an early adopter here.