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Facebook unveils changes to News Feed

1:53 PM, Mar 7, 2013   |    comments
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NEW YORK  --  Amid chatter of "Facebook fatigue," the world's biggest social networking company has unveiled a new look for its News Feed, the flow of status updates, photos and advertisements its users see on the site.

The event comes a month after a Pew study found that many Facebook users take a break from the site for weeks.

Here's a breakdown of what was unveiled at the Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park Caliornia from USA Today's Brett Molina:

1:29 p.m.: Among other small wrinkles, a "New Stories" bubble to discover fresh content.

1:27 p.m.: Cox says the new News Feed design was "mobile inspired," and is seamless across all platforms. The Web version of Facebook will mirror the style on tablets and mobile, with a left navigation bar to move between your profile and News Feed and other areas.

1:26 p.m.: News Feeds are organized by activity, says Struhar. If someone checks their Music feed every day, it will jump to the top of the list. Facebook's Chris Cox up next to talk about "mobile consistency."

1:25 p.m.: A Following Feed focuses on pages users follows, such as news organizations, sports teams and more.

1:24 p.m.: Photos feed focuses on images shared by friends through Facebook and Instagram. "You can see the world around you as your friends are seeing them right now," says Struhar.

1:22 p.m.: Users can break down feeds by Friends, Music, Photos, Games and other topics. Content is displayed chronologically.

1:21 p.m.: Chris Struhar, the tech lead of Facebook's News Feed, now on stage. Users wanted "more choice and more control" over the content on their home page, he says.

1:20 p.m.: If users follow a certain brand, they can receive related articles based on the most commonly shared stories. NPR and Taylor Swift cited as examples. "A richer, simpler, more beautiful News Feed,' one Facebook developer describes.

1:18 p.m.: Overall theme here is sharing content boasts a larger presence on News Feed. When several users call out a link, the display is much larger. Users can hover over each person who shared the item to view their comment and the replies from their friends.

1:16 p.m.: Finding new friends take up a bigger spot on News Feed, too. When a user like a page or makes a friend, a smaller version of the user's profile pic and cover image appear. Check-ins are pushed more, too.

1:15 p.m.: Link sharing more prominent, too. Images and actual link takes up more space, and icons will even pop up for some sources, such as The Washington Post.

1:14 p.m.: Checking out some examples of the new News Feed. Images are much larger. The person sharing the content and their caption are embedded inside the image, instead of presented on top.

1:12 p.m.: Zuckerberg looks at the current News Feed and the new design. Content like videos and photos look larger. To the left are profile pics of users who have shared the content. "Rich stories, visual and engaging, your choice of feeds and mobile consistency," says Zuckerberg.

1:10 p.m.: "There's a specialized place in the world for this personalized newspaper" where users can view a broad range of content in one place, Zuckerberg says. He adds 50% of content in News Feed is photos. Nearly 30% is page posts.

1:08 p.m.: More from Zuckerberg: "We want to give the world the best personalized newspaper that we can." He says stories should be displayed with more than just text. Zuckerberg walking the audience through earlier versions of News Feed, starting in 2007.

Update at 1:06 p.m. ET: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is on stage. "News Feed is one of the most important services that we've built," he says. 

Gannett/USA Today

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