Facebook revamps News Feed

Company unveils biggest design change since Timeline was introduced

Facebook has unveiled a major change to the design of that is intended to turn the social network into a personal newspaper.

The redesign, which will see a limited roll out later today in the US and tomorrow around the world, will give users more control over their newsfeed.

Amongst the new features are more space for the news feed itself, the introduction of the mobile navigation sidebar to the web version, and more control over what is displayed on the feeds themselves.

According to Facebook, the changes are the direct result of going out and speaking with people that use the the service daily. The overwhelming response, said the company, was that users want more control over what stories they see on their feed.

Amongst the new feeds being introduced are music and photos. The music feed will bring together all content posted by bands the user has liked, music friends have listened to through services such Spotify, and any concerts that are happening in the local area.

Speaking at the conference, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg said the way people use the news feed had changed drastically since it was introduced in 2006.

"When we introduced News Feed, the majority of posts were text based," he said. "Today, photos and visual content account for nearly half of all posts. In addition, shared links account for another 25 per cent of all posts."

Photos will play a much larger role in the content on the News Feed, with the way that they are displayed undergoing major changes.

The service has also overhauled the way that it handles suggested friends, and page likes, with the new design introducing aspects of Timeline, such as the cover photo.

The Close Friends and Recent Posts feeds will remain, while the All Friends feed will be introduced.

Another new feature is that the order that the feeds appear will change based upon the amount they are used. Facebook gave the example of someone who clicked on the music tab frequently would see the music tab move to the top.

The company said that the redesign would allow the user interface to be consistent across all platforms, and would make the site more of a container. "We're trying to get Facebook out of the way. We're not the focus; we're a container for content."

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