Facebook has taken the next step in social media evolution and completely changed the look of its users' news feeds, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced on Thursday at a press event at the company's headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif.
In an effort to create more of a "personalized newspaper," Facebook's new feeds will feature larger images to make attachments, articles and places more prominent, while introducing four new categories labeled "All Friends," "Photos," Music" and "Following."
The web version of the new look debuts on Thursday and like previous changes to the social network, will take weeks to be adopted by all users. Changes on the mobile app will begin rolling out over the next few weeks.
"Today we're announcing a new version of Facebook designed to reduce clutter and focus more on stories from the people you care about," the company wrote on its site.
The new look, which will be uniform across all platforms, is designed to highlight shared content by making it "brighter and more beautiful." Facebook's shift to emphasize photos was inspired by a statistic of photo posts doubling to 50 percent of news feed stories.
"They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but in today’s [old] design it’s more like 500,” Facebook design director Julie Zhou said at the event.
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The four new categories, available in addition to the current news feed, are described as follows:
>> All Friends – a feed that shows you everything your friends are sharing
>> Photos – a feed with nothing but photos from your friends and the Pages you "like"
>> Music – a feed with posts about the music you listen to
>> Following – a feed with the latest news from the Pages you "like" and the people you follow.
Zuckerberg launched Facebook in 2004, while the ever-changing news feed was announced in the fall of 2006 and it has been updated several times since.
Changes to Zuckerberg's social network consistently cause an outcry of status updates protesting the adjustments, but eventually users' eyes and minds adapt accordingly. The company's strategy of a limited rollout, taking place over an unspecified number of weeks, should ease the blowback.
If any Facebook users are on board and excited for the next step in social media evolution, visit www.facebook.com/newsfeed to explore the future and join the waiting list to start living it.