Major Facebook Newsfeed Makeover in the Works

Peter Roesler, President - Web Marketing Pros

By Peter Roesler

President, Web Marketing Pros

facebook-newsfeed-makeoverMedia reports indicate that Facebook is soon going to unveil a much changed and more graphic Newsfeed as early as this week. This update appears to be a big deal: It is not just the hard core tech crowd that is interested in this one, but there are many big businesses that are very interested to see how the changes will affect how we interact with our Newsfeed.

The unveiling of the new Newsfeed is supposed to happen this week at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, CA. Many media companies, celebrities and businesses who rely on Newsfeed to get much of their attention, will be most interested to see what the new design does.

The Facebook Newsfeed has been getting a good deal of press in the last six months. It has gotten interest from billionaire Mark Cuban, the Wall Street Journal, Wal Mart and Star Trek legend George Takei. All of these people and companies want to have Facebook put more of their Facebook posts into more Newsfeeds.

Last week, the tech columnist for the New York Times highlighted the problem: He wrote an article that said that only .03 percent of people who subscribe to his Facebook feed get any of his links, or like or share anything from his Wall.

Facebook aggressively filters Newsfeeds, so many users never see the content for which they are subscribed. They also do not always see posts on a page that they ‘liked.’ The complex filtering system powering Newsfeed, called EdgeRank, screens potential content based upon the posts, people and brands you have liked, commented upon and hidden in the recent past.

EdgeRank filtering can be ducked by paying Facebook, just as you can now pay to promote your friends’ posts. So, the firm is often accused of making its filter really tight to get people to open their wallets. Facebook denies this (it can’t deny, however, that the company paid zero net taxes in 2012).

It does not appear that there will be changes to EdgeRank this week. But, by changing the look and feel of Newsfeed, there could be a big effect on what content gets popular and is then shown by EdgeRank without any payment to Facebook.

There is no doubt about it: The coming redesign of Newsfeed is serious business for many companies and media figures. We’re looking forward to seeing the changes!

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