Sunday, March 10, 2013

Facebook Rises 2%: And Here is the New Newsfeed

Facebook's (FB) media event is getting underway just now at 1 PM, Eastern time. The link to the live webcast is here.

It is expected the event will focus on changes to the site's “News Feed” feature. Facebook shares are currently up 90 cents, or 3.3%, at $28.35.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg is on stage, in hoodie.

“Today we're going to talk about a new design for your News Feed, which we're really excited to show you. We build services that show what's going on with the people you care about.”

“What we're trying to do is to give every person in the world the best personalized newspaper we can. We believed the best personalized newspaper should have a broad diversity of content. It should have a diversity of sources, and socially-relevant updates from the people around you. It should have a top news section, and it should let you drill down into any topic that you want.

“The stories around you are intricate and detailed, and they deserve to be displayed with more than just text.”

“How we're all sharing is changing. We want updates from publications, but also from businesses and artists that we care about.”

“And here is the new design. It's about rich stories, visual and educating. Your choice of different feeds, and a design that works across mobile and desktop.”

Zuckerberg brings brings up Julie Zhuo, head of design

“In the new design, we want these photos and attachments to really shine. This represents more of what you'd expect to see in a magazine.”

“A lot of people spend time curating their timeline. So, we're bringing elements of the timeline into the story. A new expressive type of story.”

“A lot of stuff comes from other sources. I'm a big Pinterest user. In our new design we're giving these elements a lot more prominence.”

“We can now let you hover over the faces of friends and see what they're saying about what's posted.”

“Now, I'm a big fan of Taylor Swift. I'm not afraid to admit it. I don't just want to hear about her latest album, but also articles about her. Whatever you've been searching for lately, there will be things that come up that are relevant.”

“But that's not all” She introduces Chris Struhar, technical lead. He says you will have more control over what feeds you see, via a drop-down menu.

There's a heavy emphasis on photos throughout all of this. “We've tried many times with photos in newsfeed in past, but we've never had an experience that is this vibrant and immersive.”

“We're revamping the most recent feed for those moments when you want to make sure you stay up to date on everything that's happening on Facebook.”

All of these feeds are available for both desktop and mobile interfaces.

He introduces Chris Cox to talk about “mobile consistency.”

Cox says the company has taken the mobile designs the company has been working on for the last few years and tried to apply them to the Web.

“A lot of what you're seeing here is very mobile-inspired. It's big things like navigation. If you look at the PC, you'll see we've grabbed the same navigation model [from tablet and smartphone.]“

The feeds support different amounts of time you spend on the different devices.

The company will start rolling out the new format on the Web today, and on phones and tablets in coming weeks.

“And that's that”!

Facebook stock is up 52 cents, or 1.8%, at $27.97.

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