March 7, 2013 -- As expected, Facebook unveiled its brand-new News Feed today at an event at its headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif.
The new feed -- that big list of updates you see when you log into Facebook -- has been completely revamped, with larger images and separate feeds for different types of content. It will start rolling out today to Facebook users, though the company says it is "taking a slow measured approach" and not everyone will see it right away.
"What we want to do is give everyone in the world the most personalized newspaper," CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg said at the beginning of the event. "It should have a front page, but also let you drill down in any topic you want."
Zuckerberg detailed that with the new feed the company set out to not only create a more visually pleasing and personal experience, but to provide a consistent experience across all the places you are checking Facebook -- on your computer, tablet and phone.
"We are putting the photos front and center so they are more visual and more immersive," Julie Zhuo, director of design, said at the event. Large photos will appear in the feed, and overlaid on top of them will be the text-based status update. Everything from news articles to maps to events will appear with larger photos and in a cleaner format.
You will also be able to look through albums right from the page. Zhuo said the entire feed is based on things you care about.
But there isn't just one feed anymore for those things you care about. You can look at different feeds based on your interests.
Yes, the main one is still for your friends, but you can also then toggle to a feed that only includes updates about music or just photos. There is also a feed where you can see every single post from the friends or pages you are following.
"We believe that the best personal newspaper should have a broad diversity of content. It should enable you to drill into any topic you want to discuss," Zuckerberg said.
A switcher in the top right of the page on the Web will let you toggle the different feeds. On the mobile app you will be able to swipe down to change the feed.
While advertising wasn't directly addressed at the event, Facebook does say that the new feed will follow all the same advertising rules as before; sponsored content will still appear in the feed and will get the new visual treatment. "The experience of the content and the sponsored content is consistent," Kate O'Neill, Facebook Product Marketing Manager, said. "You will see more vibrant and visual stories from brands."
Mobile Coming Soon
Zuckerberg and the other speakers stressed that the new feed will have a very consistent look across all the places you look at Facebook. Not only will the new feed appear similarly on a tablet or phone, but the left hand menu you are familiar with from Facebook's mobile apps will be coming to the Web version.
"A lot of what you're seeing here is a very mobile-inspired Web design," Chris Cox, vice president of product, said.
Those that want to be the first to get the new News Feed can sign up at facebook.com/newsfeed. The mobile versions will be coming a bit slower and will arrive in the next few weeks.