Facebook is set to release a huge update to its news feed.
According to Josh Constine at TechCrunch the social network is planning to launch new ways to filter the news feed based on different topics.
Constine's sources say the news feed will allow users to segment it into different categories including a photos feed of Facebook and Instagram pictures, and a new music feed of what your friends are listening to, concerts, and new albums.
The changes are meant to streamline the traditional feed and prevent users from seeing duplicate posts.
The Associated Press' Barbara Ortutay points out that:
The [News Feed] event comes a month after a Pew study reported that many Facebook users take a break from the site for weeks at a time. The report, from the Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project, found that some 61 percent of Facebook users had taken a hiatus for reasons that range from boredom to too much irrelevant information to Lent.
This is a huge problem for Facebook who touts over one billion users, it needs to keep people coming back.
Here's what the News Feed looks like now:
According to Constine there are a few more tweaks and features in store but they may not be announced at the big event. Those features include:
- Un-bury feeds. Right now its difficult to find the specific feeds that Facebook already has available. Constine argues that if Facebook surfaces some of the feeds that are buried in the sidebar users would be much more likely to switch them them after reading the main feed.
- Feeds that don't exist but should. Have dedicated feeds for third-party apps like Instagram, RunKeeper and Foursquare would allow users to see more about what their friends are into.
- A richer design for the News Feed as a whole and improved ad design.
The News Feed has been around since late 2006 and during that time Facebook has added and improved the flagship feature, but the design largely remains the same.
A redesign not only freshens up the user experience it allows Facebook to improve its ad experience, which is a huge draw for the social network to generate income.
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