New news feed unveiled by Facebook: Good for users, better for advertisers

Yesterday Mark Zuckerberg announced the biggest ever change to the Facebook news feed. There are lots of small changes but together they are expected to add up to the following:

  • A more visual experience – there will be much larger imagery and video for a more “engaging” user experience.
  • Less clutter – smarter categorisation of feeds will allow you to view just the information you’re interested in, whether that’s updates from friends, news, sports updates, etc.
  • More consistency – the user interface will be the same across all devices, whether mobile or desktop.

So far so good, right? But there is one final, all important impact Mark Zuckerberg will be hoping for; will it make more money? Facebook has not yet been able to make the kind of advertising revenue investors had expected and this is the latest attempt attempt to turn a corner. Everything that will make it a more simple and engaging experience for the user will make it a more effective and profitable tool for marketers. After all, bigger and more engaging images means bigger and more engaging adverts.

Social platforms are forever treading a thin line between user experience and profitability; two naturally conflicting factors that both need to be satisfied if the platform is to develop. Investors will be told it’s all about improving advertising. Users will be told it’s all about improving user experience. Mark Zuckerberg will be desperately hoping it does both.