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Brand Pages Need To Combine Words and Pictures in Facebook News Feed

by PRNewswire
11 Mar 2013 at 15:01hrs | Views
LONDON - The announcement that Facebook is to carry out a major redesign to its News Feed, including the increased value of images, will present greater opportunities to engage with their customers innovatively, says integrated PR, search and social media agency Punch Communications.

The overhaul, announced by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on March 7, will affect both personal and brand page posts and will include the introduction of several subsidiary news feeds segmented by content themes. These new feeds will allow users view content by specific topics such as 'Most Recent', 'Music' and 'Photos'.

Content created by brands and individuals will still be published and available through the primary News Feed and, as such, will remain subject to the EdgeRank algorithm. However, the re-designed News Feed will become an increasingly visual channel, with Zuckerberg placing a specific emphasis on images by giving them greater prominence, space and aesthetic.

In order to reduce clutter and make the News Feed more visually appealing, the width has been increased, with sidebar content reduced and scaled-down, to allow for high-resolution images and larger URL previews within posts. In addition, posts which include text and imagery can now appear as an overlay, with white text appearing on the image.

Pete Goold, managing director of integrated PR company Punch Communications, said: "It is no great surprise that Facebook has placed such an emphasis on imagery to achieve cut-through. Aesthetically, Facebook is keen to improve its user experience. The EdgeRank algorithm was introduced to ensure users only received the most relevant content and the latest update will further improve that experience from a visual perspective. Equally, from a commercial perspective, the revamped News Feed will offer further partnership opportunities, particularly with the likes of Instagram or Pinterest which have a strong visual element."

Facebook will begin rolling out the new look imminently, so the challenge to brand users of the network is to swiftly revisit their strategy to ensure optimum performance. Pete Goold concluded: "Importantly from a brand page perspective, the key challenges with Facebook remain, such as the strategic and tactical use of the most engaging content to offset EdgeRank and secure maximum reach within the main News Feed. However, following the latest announcement, the increased visual element will now offer brands the opportunity to achieve greater cut-through on the platform."

Source - PRNewswire