The News Feed is that center column of status updates, photo albums, and news stories you see every time you go to Facebook.com or open up a Facebook app.
We hate to ruin the anticipation, but we have a pretty good idea of what the new News Feed is going to feature: a lot more video and maybe some bigger pictures.
Here's the evidence.
On January 30, Facebook held a conference call with Wall Street analysts to go over its its fourth quarter earnings report.
During the call, CEO Mark Zuckerberg talked a lot about how well ads in the News Feed have been performing lately.
He said the ads will get even better, however, when Facebook is able to do " more with different kinds of media."
Later in the call, he specified what he meant by "different kinds of media" – " bigger pictures," "richer media," and "video."
Web publishers like Facebook love to sell video advertising because advertisers are willing to pay a much higher rate for it than they are photo or text ads.
Advertisers are willing to pay so much for video because they believe video ads are better at telling the kinds of stories that make brands. Also, advertisers are used to video. They've been buying them on TV for 60 years.
So what do those comments have to do with Thursday's announcement?
Well…during the same earnings call, Zuckerberg went on to say the only reason Facebook hasn't already put video ads in its News Feed is due to one of Facebook "product design principles."
That principle is: " we want the organic content to be of the same basic type of formats as paid content."
Translation: We're not going to show video ads ("paid content") in the News Feed until Facebook users are used to seeing video from their friends or selected content providers (ESPN? YouTube? Hulu? ABC?) in the News Feed.
Zuckerberg said that kind of "organic content" is coming.
It's a bit rough, because it's a direct transcription from Seeking Alpha, but here is Zuckerberg's quote on the topic:
Historically, advertisers want really rich things like big pictures or videos, and we haven’t provided those things historically. But one of the things that we’ve done in the last year, as you’ve seen, the organic News Feed product that consumers use are , moving towards bigger pictures, richer media, and I think you will continue to see it go in that direction. And then, I think a lot of the success of products like Instagram is because of that. It’s very immersive even on a small screen, it’s a wonderful photo product, and when you have those form factors for the content that gives you the ability to offer those form factors for advertising as well. So I think you see the trend there in terms of where it’s going and that’s just naturally going to make it, so we can deliver much more engaging advertising experiences than we were traditionally able to do and when we didn’t have those types of content in the system.
Get all that?
- Advertisers want to show ads using "rich media," "bigger pictures," and "video."
- Facebook is going to allow them to do that – eventually.
- But first, Facebook is going to build ways for users to view bigger pictures and video from each other and maybe, partners.
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