Facebook Gives Visuals the Royal Treatment
Content may still be king, but images, videos, and music are holding higher court on Facebook. Facebook’s changes in its News Feed include new ways to filter what you see as you pay homage to the stream of information. No longer will the various feed options be hidden in the left sidebar.
Oh, you didn’t know about those either? They’ve been spread out among the Newsfeed, Pages, and Apps categories, where you’ll still find them until the upgrades are fully dispersed.
With the News Feed upgrade, front and top-center or top-right (depending on what type of device you’re on), you’ll find options for a photos feed highlighting Facebook and Instagram photos, and a remade music feed sharing what friends are listening to, as well as new albums and concerts.
Instagram Takes the Stage
The format is very much like Instagram in its clutter-reduced and photo-focused approach. Richer content, larger visuals, and interactivity is designed into the News Feed as cross-platform features. Whether you’re viewing on a smartphone, tablet, or laptop, the results will be similar.
Images from both friends and advertisements are larger as part of this new wave of dedicated feed. Since acquiring Instagram, this is a strategic move to utilize the power of the photo. Studies show that we process images 60,000 times faster than text, and Facebook photos generate more engagement than text alone.
It’s easy enough to satisfy that basic desire to respond to images in Facebook and drive more traffic to your website. Instead of sharing as a link, which brings up a smaller-sized photo (these screen shots are pre-News Feed updates), add as a photo and include a comment with the relevant link.
Be sure to always include a live link to allow easy click-through to your website. With the add photos/video option, you can share more than one photo to further engage your users.
Photos are Content’s New Queen
Photos are growing in size and number everywhere. On Google+, the cover photo specs just got bigger, so be sure to update yours with an eye-catching maximum resolution of 2120 x 1192.
Larger photo backgrounds are a fast-growing design trend and large images on website homepages are surging on the swell of the photo-riffic movement. While these make marketing sense in capturing your visitor’s attention, other photo trends lean more towards the unconventional.
Stranger Than Photo Fiction
Facebook’s Poke app came out soon after Snapchat, both boasting disappearing photos and videos for your ephemeral viewing pleasure. With Poke, the photos and videos are only viewable for up to ten seconds before they disappear, and a warning will appear if a screenshot was taken.
Beware of the temptation to send something you’ll regret later. Sources say that disappear is different from delete, however, and there are ways to record Poke videos permanently without alerting the sender.
Stemming from the disappearing-photo craze are horror stories based on the phenomenon. And any picture-taking and photo-sharing culture wouldn’t be complete without the bizarre Pretty Girls Making Ugly Faces as seen on Reddit, a user-generated social networking site similar to Digg.
Let us know what you think of the Facebook News Feed changes. Do you think that visual integration is at a saturation point, or are we merely skimming the surface of a potential image-laden future?