Facebook newsfeed redesign set for launch today

Posted by Emma Woollacott

Facebook's expected to announce a major redesign later today, bringing multiple news feeds arranged by category.

The move comes partly in recognition of the fact that many users - particularly the youngest - have so many Facebook friends that they're not sure who half of them are. For mobile users in particular, who see only a couple of posts at a time on-screen, it's easy to miss what's important.

As a result, says TechCrunch, the redesign will feature different feeds for music, photos and news, for example, with prominent tabs to make it easy to switch from one to another.

The changes should also allow users to decide whose news they rate most highly, and see posts from those friends promoted to the top of their feed.

This particular feature should prove popular: when the company introduced Promoted Posts last year, many users saw it as a way of holding them hostage, forcing them to pay to make sure their posts were seen. Indeed, Facebook was earlier this week forced to issue a statement insisting that this wasn't the case.

"There have been recent claims suggesting that our News Feed algorithm suppresses organic distribution of posts in favor of paid posts in order to increase our revenue. This is not true," it said.

"In the fall we made a quality adjustment to the News Feed algorithm to reduce negative feedback on stories from people. This meant that some Pages saw a drop in reach on their less engaging posts. Overall, Pages saw no impact to their median reach. In fact, data show that people engaged with more content in News Feed as the quality of the content they saw improved."
 
Also featuring in the redesign will be larger images - and more image-based ads. Currently, News Feed ads form a small part of Facebook's ad revenue, but the company's said it wants that to change.

Today's announcement will mark the first major change to newsfeeds since the the introduction of Edge Rank, which prioritizes posts, in 2009 - and the biggest change since the service's launch in 2006. As such, it's certanly likely to have its critics, at least at first.