Facebook’s News Feed Redesign Rollout Starting at 10AM PT Today

new-home-page-october-2009Facebook’s newest version of the News Feed, which demotes the real-time stream in favor of the more “traditional” top stories stream, is rolling out to users today starting at 10AM US Pacific Time. Most of the details are as we reported earlier this week, but we do have a little more information now about Facebook’s algorithm for choosing top stories.

As expected, the default News Feed that users will see is becoming “Today’s Top News,” which Facebook’s Peter Deng says will have the “most relevant information” when users get to the site. “The spirit of the change is that you’ll see a summary of stuff you missed while you were gone,” Deng says.

There’s two important points to note about the Top News stream:

  1. Stories will be chosen for Top News based on a variety of undisclosed factors, including but not limited to “how many people comment and like” on stories, “who you’re close with,” and “who you interact with frequently,” Deng says. More on that in a moment.
  2. Facebook is adding user activity stories back to the News Feed – like friend acceptances, relationship updates, event RSVPs, group memberships, and becoming a fan of a Page. In the real time stream, only explicitly “shared” content appeared in the stream.

The real-time stream will still be available via the “Live Feed” tab at the top of the page. When viewing the Live Feed, stories will now actually automatically appear in real time. And once you switch to the Live Feed tab, you’ll see it by default for the rest of your session.

Here’s what the Top News stream will look like (though note, Deng says there will be a small status update composer by default, like in the Live Feed screenshot below). Note, “Highlights” have been removed and other content on the right side of the page has moved up.

new-news-feed

And here’s a view of the Live Feed:

new-home-page-october-2009

Impact on Developer Ecosystem

Deng says application stories will be selected for display in Top Stories in “exactly the same way as status updates” – meaning the amount of comment and like responses they’ve gotten, how close Facebook thinks you are to the person, and how much you interact with them. We assume Facebook Connect stories will be treated in the same way.

It will be very interesting to see how the changes to the News Feed affect applications that have been optimized for growth largely through the real-time stream since Facebook launched the real-time stream in March. Now that the system has changed again, developers’ incentives are also shifting. As always, those that can navigate the Top News algorithm the best will see disproportionate growth.

Impact on Facebook Pages

Deng says Page stories will also be selected in the same way as status updates and application stories – i.e., depending on how much response the stories get and how much you interact with the Page. However, all Page managers should note that this now means that all of your Page’s updates will now no longer necessarily show up in your fans’ News Feeds in real time (in the Top Stories view).

Now, Page managers need to start thinking about News Feed Optimization (NFO) too. In other words, what do you need to do to maximize your Page’s updates in the News Feed? According to Deng, comments from a user’s friends on a Page story is an important factor in getting it to show up, so encouraging comments and likes more would be a good way to start. Keeping fans coming back to your Page as much as possible is also now much more important.

Going Forward

We think Facebook’s move back to a “Top Stories” default view of News Feed is the right move for maximizing user engagement. Most people simply aren’t able to stay glued to Facebook all day and catch all the content that’s most interesting to them in a real-time stream format, and Facebook says it got a lot of feedback from users that they were missing valuable content they wanted to see.

Now, by keeping the levers behind News Feed behind closed doors, Facebook again has the freedom to do a lot of testing and optimization to increase engagement on the home page by providing the most compelling content to users. Those who depend on the News Feed for their own distribution and engagement will be watching closely.

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Leave a Reply

36 Responses to “Facebook’s News Feed Redesign Rollout Starting at 10AM PT Today”

  1. Facebook launches new homepage feed. says:

    [...] InsideFacebook notes there are two important points to note about the Top News stream: [...]

  2. Facebook Changing Feed Story Image Specs, Deprecating Some Feed APIs says:

    [...] About an hour ago, Facebook started rolling out the latest set of updates to the home page and News Feed. Along with the switch back to an algorithmically-chosen set of top stories from the real time stream, Facebook also just announced some important changes to feed stories and the feed APIs that developers should be aware of. [...]

  3. Mike Knoop says:

    One important thing to note also, whichever view you click on becomes your “Default” view when you hit the main domain facebook.com

    So, whichever view you prefer you can always have one and not have to switch back and forth. I wonder how many will opt to use the live-stream? I’m quite accustomed to it now.

  4. GP says:

    Hopefully they give priority to manually shared items (via the share partners) in the top news and not burry them…

    Share partner require the user to click the share link, login and then post the item which is much different from the app generated ones which just popup the share dialog.

  5. Eric Eldon says:

    Good point about the changing “default,” Mike. I was just noticing that, too.

  6. Diana says:

    I loved the Highlights. Is there a way to choose to continue to see them?

  7. dlab says:

    Am wondering how many people tested this new design and thought existing users would like it. We don’t. It sucks, and all my friends are confused and hating it too.

  8. Feeding Time at Facebook | mediabistrowebnewser | Online Marketing Connect says:

    [...] previous day, to basically catch you up on what your friends have been up to.” And Deng told Inside Facebook, “The spirit of the change is that you’ll see a summary of stuff you missed while you [...]

  9. Edmund says:

    The auto-suggesting feature on the search box doesn’t seem to work…

  10. Kathy says:

    Ok, I thought I was going to be okay with the changes but already am seeing that different stories are showing up on live feed than on news feed, so now I’ll have to toggle back and forth to catch what’s happening with all of my friends. Wish there was an option to keep the full feed that we’ve gotten used to.

  11. social media stations says:

    I wonder how many will opt to use the live-stream? I’m quite accustomed to it now

  12. Melanie says:

    I HATE the new format. It makes no sense. If I choose the “News Feed,” I miss stuff. If I choose the “Live Feed,” I’m subjected to a lot of stuff I don’t care about.

  13. FACEBOOK Live Feed vs News Feed Made Simple | Simple Tech Guru Blog says:

    [...] To see more info from Facebook on the change. [...]

  14. Facebook Fan Pages says:

    that is really nice it is more user friendly. facebook is in top world sites. the reason of behind is facebook keep making it site user friendly.

  15. Articles on Facebook: Roundup of Recent Changes and Opportunities for Facebook Marketing says:

    [...] these opportunities, you need to understand how content ends up showing up in the News Feed. On the InsideFacebook blog post about the news feed changes they say: Impact on Facebook [...]

  16. Want Those Live Status Updates Back? Here’s How to Fix the New Facebook Design says:

    [...] now the new Facebook news feed shows you the automated news feed, similar to the home page before the March design. But now, millions of users apparently got so [...]

  17. Want Live Status Updates Back? Here’s How to Hack the New Facebook Design « We Socialize says:

    [...] now the new Facebook news feed shows you the automated news feed, similar to the home page before the March design. But by this point, millions of users have [...]

  18. The Power of Facebook’s New News Feed says:

    [...] news for Facebook Page owners: Facebook has just pushed out a substantial and thoughtful redesign of its News Feed. On the bare surface, the changes might not look that exciting. But make no [...]

  19. Nathan says:

    Is there a way to make the live feed your default?

  20. Will Facebook enforce its policies? « Social games, entrepreneurship and more says:

    [...] for developers. This includes notifications going away, lot of stuff being moved to the inbox, the algorithmic stream change of last week and the new games dashboard to name a few. The best summary of these changes for any developer is [...]

  21. Facebook policy changes are a tectonic shift for social game developers « Social games, entrepreneurship and more says:

    [...] for developers. This includes notifications going away, lot of stuff being moved to the inbox, the algorithmic stream change of last week and the new games dashboard to name a few. The best summary of these changes for any developer is [...]

  22. 5 Things All Page and Brand Managers Should Know About Facebook’s Recent Updates says:

    [...] announcements at the Facebook Developer Garage at its headquarters in Palo Alto. In addition to the recent updates to the News Feed, this means significant changes are happening across the Facebook ecosystem that marketers and [...]

  23. EVCin » Zynga Testing How to Recapture Value of Facebook News Feed Posts says:

    [...] a little over a week ago, Facebook launched an update to their News Feed, moving the default from a real-time feed to an algorithmic feed. After a week of the new feed [...]

  24. B2B Facebook Marketing Best Practices | Social Media B2B says:

    [...] Facebook rolled-out changes to its News Feed, you can get the full detail from Inside Facebook. There is one major item that your organization needs to understand from these changes: News Feed [...]

  25. The Turkish Flag, Cheryl Cole, Jet Li and Other Top 20 Facebook Pages This Week says:

    [...] old design. What we do know is that Facebook will be featuring content in Top Stories based in part on engagement factors. As we wrote last week, components of the Top Stories algorithm [...]

  26. News Feed Optimization: Top App Developers Promoting Becoming a Fan says:

    [...] that Facebook has changed the default News Feed for users back to an engagement-based algorithmic approach from the real-time firehose that had been in place since March, how should application developers [...]

  27. Patrick Nouhailler says:

    As usual there is 2 aspects to consider to this change .

    The first aspect is ( not a surprise) that lot of people don’t like it because they don’t understand it , they wonder what is the algorithm that define “how many people comment and like” on stories, “who you’re close with,” and “who you interact with frequently” , it’s not clear and I can hear people around me wondering how it works and complaining about missing information about their friends now.

    The other aspect to consider is the following : the objective of a tool like facebook is to connect to other people, the more you connect the more you loose track on “how many people comment and like” on stories, “who you’re close with,” and “who you interact with frequently” . It was urgent to act for Facebook otherwise the tool will become obsolete, uninteresting. Even if right now the average number of connection is around 100 for a normal facebook user, it may and will increase in the future and the actual news feed will become inefficient to retrieve pertinent information in this flow of news.

    So the dilemma was unmanageable feeds or restricted feeds … ?

  28. Zynga Launches FishVille — How Big Will This Virtual Aquarium Game Get? says:

    [...] Zynga has also excelled at optimizing “viral channels” to reach new users,  Before Facebook changed its news feed from a raw stream to a slower, algorithmically-tuned one a couple weeks ago, Zynga had mastered the art of getting users to share information from games [...]

  29. Dean says:

    Why don’t things that I have commented on pop to the top of news when more comments/responses are made in Live or News feed? This is really annoying.

    I should not have to scroll down 5 pages past things minutes or hours ago to read something added seconds ago.

    Or give me the option to sort by original item, or most recent comment/update…

  30. Benjamin Chambers says:

    It’s all very well to airily suggest that Page managers now have to encourage their fans to leave “Likes” and comments if they want their page’s status updates to show up in their fans’ feeds, but have you had to actually do this?

    I manage the page for Reclaiming Futures, and we had the misfortune to launch October 1st. So, before we had a chance to build a fan base and find that core of folks interested in commenting or “liking” our updates, our updates stopped appearing in their news feed, and we can’t change that unless we can get more of them to visit our page. It’s a Catch-22. Our views dropped dramatically after the changes, in spite of the fact that we’ve been plugging it hard via a weekly email digest we send out to 600 people. (We’re a nonprofit, so we don’t have products to give away, and contests and the like aren’t appropriate, either.)

    Sure, if you’re Coca-Cola or Lance Armstrong, you shouldn’t have much trouble engaging people – but the smaller, more obscure companies and nonprofits? Forget about it.

  31. Tony Ortiz says:

    ¿Puede alguien explicarme la diferencia entre la “lista de vivir” y de las noticias “aquí en facebook? estoy demasiado depre para pensar…

  32. Tony Ortiz says:

    Ik hield van de “hoogtepunten”. Is er een manier om te kiezen om door te gaan om ze te zien?…

  33. Tony Ortiz says:

    Yat-il un moyen de rendre le signal en direct de votre défaut?

  34. Facebook Developer Garage: Content and Engagement Are Kings Forever | BeAloud Digital Media News says:

    [...] March and Iskandar Najmuddin presented all the different elements that have changed on Facebook: Newsfeed/Livefeed; notifications modifications; policy changes; profile boxes gone, etc.  What really struck me is [...]

  35. IKEA Showroom Facebook Campaign | On the Web with Kim Vallee says:

    [...] up on the news feeds. With the recent changes in the news feeds, Peter Deng of Facebook told in an interview that pages with many comments and likes should come up at a good rate  in the news feeds. It is [...]

  36. The Power of Facebook’s New News Feed | Involver Blog says:

    [...] news for Facebook Page owners: Facebook has just pushed out a substantial and thoughtful redesign of its News Feed. On the bare surface, the changes might not look that exciting. But make no [...]

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