The redesign, which will be rolling out to users in the next few weeks, is deeper than what I surmised from kast week’s presentation. It’s not just the new news feeds, which offer new ways to parse your Facebook content, that are new. The whole navigation scheme for the site has changed.
The Navigation Tray
The Music feed
One of the biggest changes to the design is the way it handles music. There’s a new feed to deal only with music-related stuff. You just choose the feed from a feeds drop-down list at the top right of the page.Music feed
The Spotify music your friends are listening to is now featured in the music feed. Facebook has moved your friends’ song listens out of the old ticker at the right hand side of the screen, and into the music feed. (The ticker still exists at the very bottom of the new launcher tray, but it only displays one piece of content at a time now. Odd.)
And Facebook is doing a lot more with those Spotify listens. It looks for artists and songs that multiple friends are listening to and groups them together in an article in the news feed. The article contains a large picture of the artist, and at the left you can see all your friends who’ve listened to the artist lately. Mouse over any of the pictures and you can see what those people said about the artist.
The Following feed
Some of these themes are continued in other feeds. In the Following feed, Facebook now builds media rich articles using content from the pages of publications or public figures you like. For instance, if you follow the Onion’s page, you might see an article in your feed with the three most recent articles from the publication. Each article has its own image, and a 20-word summary. You might also find in-page videos of public figures you follow.
The Photos feed
As for the new News Feed designs, the big question is whether or not people will actually use them. After spending some time with them, I think there’s a good chance that I might click over to the Photos and Music feeds after I had looked over the main newsfeed. These pages (wisely) offer not just a specialized kind of content, but also a better presentation and some new functionality.
By Mark Sullivan, TechHive.
Mark has been writing about networks – social and wireless – since 2005. Independent and outgoing, he enjoys travelling, wine and skiing. His favourite book is Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand.