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Why Facebook's News Feed Update Is Good News for Businesses and Brands

Posted on 3/7/2013 by Ray Lamboy in Marketing Your Business

Never one to sit on the sidelines or allow user experience to become stale, Facebook has unveiled a new user interface (UI) for its popular News Feed feature that it claims will reduce clutter and focus more attention on updates, images and information from the people and brands you care about most.

Scheduled to be unveiled to all members – including businesses and brands – over the next three to four weeks, the new News Feed UI will eventually impact each and every way users interact with the world’s most popular social utility. From laptops and desktops that access the site using standard web browsers, to mobile users who gain access via the Facebook app on their tablets or phones, the new UI will be a significant departure from what we’re used to seeing. And the look and feel will be entirely unified from platform to device.

To jump right in, here’s how my personal News Feed now appears:

The user interface for Facebook's News Feed received a significant update in March 2013.

As you can see in the image above, category-specific feeds are now easily accessible from the top right portion of the page, while accessing one’s own Timeline is now handled through the collapsible black navigation bar on the left.

Interested in updates containing photos only? Click on the Photos feed. Want to see the most recent updates from your friends and the businesses and brands you follow? Do as I did above and click on the Most Recent feed. To access your own Timeline, click on the icon at the top of the left black navigation bar.

Note: As of the time of this publishing, when opting to enable Facebook’s Use Facebook as [insert Page name here] feature and revisiting the News Feed as a business or brand, the old News Feed UI still appears.

Next, look what happens when my friend Marjorie likes a business Page: 

The above image shows up in my News Feed, and its prominent placement is significant for businesses and brands for a number of reasons, including:

Now, when someone Likes a business or brand on Facebook, the lower half of the company’s or brand’s Fan Page Cover Photo appears in the News Feed viewed by that person’s friends.

If your Fan Page’s Cover Photo isn’t all that flattering or is nonexistent, you’ll want to address that issue right away. (Note: It may help to know that the optimal size of a Cover Photo for Facebook Business pages — as well as personal Timelines — is 851 pixels wide x 315 pixels tall.)

For businesses and brands that rely on Facebook for getting advertising messages in front of targeted audiences, the update News Feed offers additional opportunities for exposure. In particular, notice the floating advertising section (viewable in the lower right quadrant of the first image above), which contains sponsored display advertisements, sponsored stories, and targeted display ads. The updated UI contains up to 10 ad slots — at least three more than the previous interface. And when scrolling down the News Feed, at least four of those items remain dynamically present in the right-hand column.

Finally, for those of you whose engagement and reach increases when you publish photographs, you should appreciate the more vibrant look and feel of your published photos once they hit the News Feed. For example:

Meanwhile, if you’re interested in opting in for the updated News Feed UI, you can visit Facebook’s News Feed preview page and click on the Try new look button.

Source: www.forbes.com/sites/mikalbelicove/2013/03/07/why-facebooks-news-feed-update-is-good-news-for-businesses-and-brands/