32 thoughts on “My impressions of Facebook's news feed redesign & what it means”

  1. This is just what I needed as I haven’t had the time to pay attention in detail.

    Facebook amazes me–all the people everywhere are there.

    Facebook amazes me–all the people and they have basically no good will from anyone and no community.

    Facebook amazes–they know everything about everyone and they plumb this data so that when someones Bday pops up they say that he/she liked Britney Spears and how about a song from iTunes.

    Tell me that this is not the future of data-driven advertising and marketing.

    Sorry–needed to kvetch and your fine post just caught me at that time.

    1. @awaldstein

      Good kvetch, but they still can’t do data driven advertising — or at least it seems from the outside. They (FB) have their work cut out and we shall see how this works out. I have a suspicion that they need to look beyond advertising.

  2. Om, what is your take on FB engagement? you touch upon it but not much. Is the change helping in your mind to create more meaningful “conversations”?

    1. @Bernard,

      Sorry for not being more explicit. I think the changes have done nothing for me to have more meaningful conversations. How deep can we really get about someone liking a band or their kids. A little but not a lot.

  3. Hi Om,

    Nice write up as always! BTW, I can see only four items in the “Five Burning Questions” section.

  4. I’ve used FB for 3 years. Quitting today. It’s a waste of time, filled with spam, no longer serves as a useful tool for keeping up with friends. The redesign is lousy. Photos are fuzzy. Comments do not align with photos. More importantly, what info about ME is being used by marketers and who knows?

  5. I only care about their ability to make money from ads for their shareholders. So if redesigned news feed will draw more ad dollars – Job Well Done!!!

    The rest of your article is for people who actually use FB for personal reasons, which I couldn’t care less for.

    Good read though.


  6. To use context one first has to understand what it is and how it is created. It’s not a nice mix of sensor data, as some seem to believe.

    As I have pointed out before, context is messy. But abstracts are incredible fast to activate vast amounts of data to create a best fit differential. Much faster than keyword indexing since the base is “all”. Just don’t think hierarchy, way way to strict and slow and no overlaps (very useful for differentials).[3]

    “The group believes this partially overlapping representation of related concepts are the neural underpinnings of encoding associations, a key memory function.”[1]

    “There has long been a tendency to look at the many distinct anatomical areas of the cerebral cortex of the brain and to assume that each area is like a specialized module that plays a very specific function.” Freedman said. “Our results support the growing sense that most, if not all, of these brain areas have multiple overlapping roles.” [2]

    1. Small Groups of Brain Cells Store Concepts for Memory Formation — From Luke Skywalker to Your Grandmother

    2. http://medicalxpress.com/news/2013-03-region-functions-brain-cells-multitasking.html#jCp

    3. https://plus.google.com/112533373338852324880/posts

  7. The only thing I objected to is what you said about the search bar.

    It is one of the most useful things that facebook has and a huge asset. I use it 50% of the time i get on facebook. Ways i’ve used it in the last 7 days.

    1. you want to see pictures of a friend of a friend who doesn’t share them with non-friends (graph search still finds all the photos where that person was tagged with people who do share their photos with you) – disclaimer: I used this when trying to decide if i should accept a friend request from someone who had set their profile picture to that of a dog.

    2. you want to meet a club promoter in your area (search ‘promoters in san diego california’ and boom.

    3. THE BIG ONE: finding people who’s name you misspelled or whos number you lost. I lost the number that a girl had given me, but I knew she was a senior at a large state school and that she where she went to highschool (from our conversation), so I was able to find her on facebook.

    anyways, its the best feature facebook has ever added

  8. I find I have lost interest because its much harder for me to actually see my friends updates and posts that I actually engage me. I find I am hiding more and more people do to the never ending “liked” pictures of jokes, etc. I loved using facebook to engage in topics and stay in touch with friends. Now, I feel like its a never ending of scrolling.. and boring, actually. 🙁 Too bad, facebook really did it to themselves. That’s what happens when something really great gets supposably, all these great, over paid super talents.. like all big corporations, they mess with things so much it’s over thought and they are their own demise.

    1. @Carla

      I think what you want and need to engage is a challenge that hasn’t been resolved by the company as the old news feed with new design is still at the bottom of it all.

      That said, I don’t think we should give up on them & their capabilities just yet.

    2. I completely agree. I HATE not seeing updates from the people on my friends list. I get the same 5 people, and the same 5 people see my stuff. it is awful 🙁 why won’t they fix this Om??

  9. I was wondering why your article didnt address the big elephant in the room- its uncanny resemblance to G+. I mean it was as if the UI was completely built with G+ as the end goal.

    1. I am not sure I would go that far. I use G+ on rare occasions and I find it as work in progress. The FB newsfeed redesign is better than what they have rightnow.

  10. Hey, what’s wrong with Dido?!? 😉

    In all seriousness, I liked her page only a few hours before this post but more to show her my support, less to tell my friends that I like her music.

  11. Om, can get comment on what Facebook’s growth in emerging markets leading to proliferation of violations there means to them? Specifically refering to hardcore pornography violations by users in those countries. It’s no joke, detailed documentation in source such as below indicates Facebook hasn’t gotten its act together & creating a PR nightmare for themselves.


  12. I’ve not received the new look UI here, although I did notice that the changes on the Music side are visible if you visit a page relating to an artist.

    I think Facebook missed a trick when it introduced interest lists, by not coming up with a way to help users organise pages and subscriptions quickly and easily. That would have headed off a lot of the criticism around the decreased visibility of posts from those pages and subscriptions within the main news feed. They could also help themselves a lot by making it easier to filter the main news feed or interests lists on an ad-hoc or permanent basis, and manage the updates you receive from your friends – at the moment, whilst the controls are there, it’s not immediately obvious how you use them.

    I’ve already had to turn off one new change that has shown up on my profile. The new notification sound is seriously distracting to me, particularly so when I’ve opened another web page to read and the Facebook page is in the background.

    I really do hope that Facebook’s next round of updates are more that just beautification, and actually work on usability.

  13. waiting so eagerly to experience the all new facebook newsfeed. 🙂 Wonderful write up and gigaom never disappoints to cover the latest tech happenings 😛


  14. Insiders I’ve spoken with at Facebook often decry the intelligence of the so-called “news feed robot” — apparently, it’s not actually all that intelligent, and doesn’t implement any machine learning. It simply filters posts by connection strength and post popularity. The result is surprisingly passable, and they’ve managed to avoid a great deal of analytical complexity.

    Looking in from the outside, I do appreciate a good, clean redesign that gives priority to content (you see this a lot in the current “flat UI” trend). But for me, the biggest improvement would be in the robot itself.

  15. The Search bar on the top is actually quite worthless and comes in the way of what could be a pretty seamless experience. It is a case of when a hasty business decision gets layered on top of good design decisions — the end result is like a great pair of leather shoes with a plastic sole.

    I don’t know what you mean? your words are so too academic =.=

  16. I was one of the first in the waiting list (kept reloading the page), when I clicked “Join the Waiting List” only 27 people had liked the page, so I could only be max. 100th on the list or so. Several days later, no new look. What’s going on? And we still haven’t even got Graph Search, and that came out ages ago…

  17. I accepted the update and now I get too many newsfeeds telling me _______ is now friends with _______, and it clogs up my newsfeed. I can’t stop it. tried everything. turned off notifications and turned off comments & likes to many people. Any suggestions?

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