by Carolina Beltrán, Digital Media Super­vi­sor

Yester­day, Face­book unveiled it’s first major redesign of the News Feed since 2009. Almost imme­di­ately, users began critiquing the redesign and notic­ing how similar it looks to Google+. As a marketer, I try not to pick apart and critique redesigns – what’s done is done. What I focus on is how change can benefit my clients.

The new News Feed features three major compo­nents:

Bigger Images
Multi­ple Feeds
Consis­tency of Expe­ri­ence

Bigger Images

The new News Feeds is BIG and empha­sizes visual content like pictures and video. There’s more page real estate for brands to work with, i.e. more room for in-stream adver­tis­ing, and an oppor­tu­nity to get creative. To make the News Feed bigger, the left and right rails have been shrunken, which is signif­i­cant because Spon­sored Ads currently live in the right rail. Look for increased, richer and bigger adver­tis­ing to appear on the new News Feed.

More Feeds & More Control

The new News Feed brings more types of feeds and more control over how they are displayed. Users can now subscribe to feeds from all friends, close friends, music, photos, games and feeds of users you follow.

Advertiser/brand content used to appear in a user’s News Feed along­side posts from friends and family. With the All Friends and Close Friends feeds, users can focus solely on what their friends are sharing. By choos­ing to see content through one of these feeds, users opt out of seeing content from busi­nesses, brands and influ­encers they follow. Good news for the user, not so good news for those attempt­ing to spread a message (some­what) virally.

This situ­a­tion might be why the Follow­ing feed was created. By select­ing the Follow­ing feed, a user opts in to see content from brands and publish­ers – which could mean greater content engage­ment.

Consistency Across Devices

This one is the most impor­tant to me and it should be to you, too.

The new News Feed was inspired by mobile – check out your mobile and tablet Face­book apps (quickly! before they’re updated!) to see what I mean. Face­book knows users are increas­ingly access­ing Face­book through their mobile and tablet devices so they’re focused on making the expe­ri­ence consis­tent, no matter what device they’re on. Multi­ple devices, one expe­ri­ence.

Does this sound famil­iar? It should. A month ago, Google announced Enhanced Campaigns. Like Face­book, Google knows people constantly switch between devices, using the one that works best for where they are and what they are trying to do. Before Enhanced Campaigns, adver­tis­ers could target by device – desktop, mobile, and/or tablet. No more. With Enhanced Campaigns all devices roll up into one campaign and tablets and desktop are consid­ered one device making it crit­i­cal for adver­tis­ers to consol­i­date the desktop, mobile and tablet expe­ri­ence into one.

Face­book and Google are forcing marketers to move away from target­ing audi­ences based on the devices they use, because the truth is, they/we use all of them. Whether you’re adver­tis­ing on Face­book, Google or anywhere really,  make sure the expe­ri­ence you create speaks to every­one.

Change is here and it’s good!