Menlo Park, California–The world’s largest social media site has announced changes to its news feed will debut to the public on Thursday, March 7, 2013. Part of the new Graph Search roll out, the news feed is the most visited feature users access, far outpacing traffic on business pages, fan pages, and even personal timelines.
“There are some indications that the News Feed redesign could be centered around a more image-centric feed that looks similar to news readers like Flipboard,” said Matthew Panzarino, writing for TheNextWeb.
There has not been an update of any significance to the News Feed since September, 2011. The redesign will include paid materials, such as sponsored stories, adjacent to status updates and photos posted by users’ family and friends. The change could be in concert with the social network’s redesign of its timeline feature, which is currently being tested in New Zealand.
Facebook’s Waning Teen Popularity
Facebook might be trying to retain a good portion of its user base and perhaps lure otherwise skeptical users. The company recently admitted that teenagers in particular are abandoning or not opting to join, choosing instead “cooler” apps such as Snapchat and Instagram.
“We believe that some of our users, particularly our younger users, are aware of and actively engaging with other products and services similar to, or as a substitute for, Facebook, ” a company report stated last month.
The admission only confirms a long-standing supposition by industry experts the 10 year-old company has lost its edge and isn’t enticing to younger demographics. Instead, teens seem to prefer sites which are more succinct, a great match for short attention spans.
However, the report does suggest that teens aren’t outright leaving in droves–an exodus that sealed the fate of MySpace. Rather, teens are engaging the social platform less and using other applications more. Facebook’s countermeasure to acquire Instagram might be its saving grace, some social media experts point out.