Inside Scoop: Facebook revamps News FeedHow will the newly redesigned News Feed affect your Facebook experience, and what motivated the social-media giant to make the changes? Sumi Das talks to CNET's Donna Tam, who attended Thursday's event at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif.
-Hello and welcome to Inside Scoop. I'm Sumi Das and joining me is Donna Tam, staff writer for CNET. Thanks for being with us, Donna. -No problem. -So, changes are coming to Facebook and you were at an event today where they were announced. We'll talk about those in just a second but first I wanna find out about the atmosphere at the event. What was it like? -Yeah. Well, there's a whole bunch of headquarters there. They filled out the room nicely. -At Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park. -At Facebook headquarters, right. And I think I heard from some folks who had been at the other event for the search announcement that-- -Graft search. -Graft search, there actually was less people there and maybe it's because we all kind of like heard enough rumors about what was going on. -Yeah. -And like, plus everyone knows like, you know, the News Feed, what it is. -Right. -And so it definitely-- -Before graft search, people were like it's gonna be a phone. It's gonna be a phone. -Yeah, exactly. -And this time, we knew it was gonna be about News Feed. -News Feed, right. -Okay. So, what were the announcements that were made? What are the changes that are coming? -So, basically, News Feed is now gonna have a content specific feeds, Which means that you can choose what type of feed you wanna browse. So, that could be photos or like music related post, -Okay. -which includes music your friends are listening to through other apps. Or like musicians that you follow or like on Facebook or bands that you like and then they'll have their posts rise up in this Music Feed. So, you could do that. There's also stuff for different feeds that have existed before like the Games Only Feed and the Close Friends Feeds, -Uh-hmm. -but now it's all like in one place. And basically, they've done a lot to the design in terms of making it less cluttered. -Right. -So, it's a very sweet design. -It did mention that many times. -Many times. -It's less clutter. -It's less clutter. -It's gonna be prettier and simpler. -Yeah. And basically, what they did was, they took a lot of inspiration from your mobile apps. -I noticed that they say that. -Yeah. -Instead of taking the desktop and trying to make that, you know, replicate that experience on mobile, they took the mobile version and are trying to make duplicate that, -Right. -and that's tough. -Right because they find it to be a version that has like faster navigation in a lot of ways because there's a constraint of space. And so, because there's a constraint, they were able to like think of ways to like make things function still with a little amount of space they have. -Uh-hmm. -And so they felt like that was appropriate for desktop because it makes it so that the images can be bigger. -Uh-hmm. -You know, the visual element is much more emphasized in its new design. -Right. So, yeah, let's talk about that because they did talk about how it's gonna be visual. They mentioned Pinterest a couple of times. They mentioned photos a couple of times. -Uh-hmm. -What they didn't mention as much was this little company that they own called Instagram. -Right. -What happened there? -I'm not sure what happened there but they-- definitely after the presentation was over, during the Q&A, someone asked him about that like what about Instagram? What about the treatment that they're gonna get? And Mark Zuckerberg said, you know, Instagram is gonna be treated like any other third party app that they have. So, Pinterest, like Pinterest, you know, Pinterest is gonna get the same amount of play and big break photos as an Instagram photo would. But I think that was his emphasis was like they kept repeating over and over again how old the content is treated the same. All the content will get this like new burst of, just new burst of like visual and like highlighting the elements that are important to that kind of content. -Right. It makes sense, you know, people like formats that are cleaner and easier to read and digest. But why are they really making these changes? -Well, I think, when you ask the people at Facebook, they'll say, you know, this is about like bringing a better experience to users and making easier for them to find the content they wanna find. -Uh-hmm. -I think in the end they also talk about how they realize it's also gonna bring more-- have people-- this will also have people spending more time on Facebook. -Right. -So, because they're gonna be looking, taking a deeper dive of things and spending times on different-- time on different feeds then, you know, it would result in spending more time. Advertisers probably love this because it's gonna be bigger ads as well. So, Facebook is very big and making sure that ads are a seamless part of the whole News Feed process. And advertisers have found that those that are put inside the News Feed definitely make more money and attract more attention, you know, once in the right-hand side where they kinda just pop in there, right? -Right. -So, in the end this will also mean that advertisers will get the nice treatment on their ads. They'll get bigger pictures, they'll get more emphasis on their links, you know, and so people again can see that within their News Feed and it'll be this-- as if they're, you know, looking at one of the content that maybe their friends provided or something. -That does seem handy. And could it be also-- I mean their has been some talk that they're sort of going after Twitter's business a little bit, with this new revamped or something. -Yeah. I think people have seen the similarities and that, you know, in the past, when they've talked about like how they do the News Feed, there's a filter, there's an algorithm, there's a way of filtering things out better, gonna be more relevant for you and people have been upset about, you know, reacting and people reacted, you know, negatively in some ways because they're thinking that they wanna be able to control what content they see and not having algorithm do it for them. So, when you have something like Twitter, which just kind of grows everything out there from all the feeds you follow. -Yeah. -You know, this is a way for Facebook to kinda replicate that as well. -Yeah. All right. And well, that's gonna be slow, so not everybody is gonna get it all at once. -Yeah. -They're gonna test it out, they get feedback and then gradually-- -Right. -get it to all of their users. -Correct. Yeah. -All right, Donna. Thank you so much. For Inside Scoop, I'm Sumi Das. Thanks for watching.