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At a press conference from their headquarters, Facebook announced a new look to its News Feed page. The intention is to make the website look more like the Android and iOS apps.

The changes also make the News Feed take up more space on the Web page (ads currently take up a large space to the right of the News Feed). The redesigned page will now remove that column and incorporate the ads into the feed itself.

As a result, the images and videos will be bigger and resemble the layout seen on the mobile Facebook app. The only issue is that ads will be much more prominent.

Call me cynical, but I sense an ulterior motive here.

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO and founder of Facebook, says the changes “reduce clutter”, but having ads front & center is surely going to attract more companies to pay for the space.

Advertisements represent a huge revenue stream for Facebook and now we won’t be able to avoid seeing them.
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Research firm eMarketer, say Facebook’s ad revenues went up 36% year-on-year to $4.27bn in 2012. This is all thanks to having ads in its News Feed.

Zuckerberg realised the overall look of the website was a bit dated and said:

The design of your news feed needs to reflect this evolving face of who you’re sharing with.

The hope is that the feed will now look more like a “personalised newspaper” rather than a mass of random information.

Another change making its way to the website is the pop-out bar (which appears on the left in the mobile apps). This bar is where you have quick access to app bookmarks, chat and info about friends/groups.

The unified look of Facebook, across mobile apps and the Web page, will make it easier for users to get relevant information regardless of what platform they use.

I must admit, the redesign is long overdue and gives Facebook a more modern look.

The question still remains as to how many ads will feature in our News Feeds as this will be a key factor in how users respond to the changed.

Do you like the new look Facebook layout? Let me know in the comments below.

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