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!

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