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!