Today we’ve asked our panel of industry leaders: “What is your opinion of Facebook’s latest redesign?”
Here are their responses:
“I thought the comparison Mark Zuckerberg made of Facebook to being a person’s personalized newspaper was interesting because for the first time I saw an emphasis beyond “connecting people” to one as a news medium, a place where users go to for all information, not just their friend’s latest update. As a user, I like the idea of being able to choose feeds, more easily discover what interests me, and bigger photos, but I think the most important element of this announcement was that the UI was mobile inspired and that the experience will be consistent across all platforms – mobile, tablet, desktop. Although monetization wasn’t addressed, I think brands will like the idea of consistency across devices and that feeds will surface their content more prominently to fans. Since images will be larger and titles more prominent, brands will also appreciate that their posts will be more visually appealing, especially when allocating dollars to advertise such posts to their audience.” — Compass Labs CEO Dilip Venkatachari.
“With this redesign, Facebook has swung the pendulum back towards the consumer experience. With it, one thing is clear: right rail ads are on the path to extinction. As Facebook repeated over and over, the new desktop experience is “mobile-inspired”. There are no right rail ads on mobile and they are seemingly minimized in the new design. It will be interesting to see how they replace the ad inventory since over 80% of ad dollars are spent in the right rail. New richer stories with bigger photos and more interesting posts about what friends are sharing, means that getting people to Like, Comment and Share has, once again, become even more important, with the “Following Feed” becoming the battleground.” — Marko Muellner, VP Marketing at ShopIgniter.
“Over the past several months and at Adobe Summit this week we are seeing an increased appetite from our ad customers to integrate Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn into their ad campaigns. As a Strategic Preferred Marketing Developer of Facebook and the only cross-channel platform that integrates ad campaigns for social, display and search, the new look for Facebook’s News Feed promises new opportunities for advertisers. As users tend to show a stronger interest in active, personalized news feeds, embedded ads will likely be more relevant and generate higher ROI for advertisers.” — Justin Merickel, Senior Director, Media & Ad Solutions at Adobe.
“The core of Facebook’s business is to keep the mindshare of its one billion users worldwide. Facebook has a fine line to walk between user’s need to stay engaged within the site and advertisers need to buy finely targeted advertisements. Today’s change addresses Facebook’s No. 1 goal: to keep people engaged within the site. Ensuring relevant content is shown is key, since people might no longer know all their ‘friends’ on Facebook so customization of the news feed is essential to reduce the noise to signal ratio within the News Feed and ensure that users stay engaged. Pinterest, Tumblr and Twitter are increasingly growing as platforms for news, entertainment and shopping, and Facebook is making high-stakes moves to retain their user base.” — Lucy Jacobs, COO, Spruce Media.
“We should all get more relevant news feed results with the changes, and the redesigned experience on mobile devices is definitely welcome given how many users access Facebook through their mobile devices. But there certainly is an element of Facebook working to better monetize the News Feed with these changes.Tablets in particular are fast becoming an e-commerce powerhouse and Facebook wants to make sure it’s in on that action. If you use search as a barometer, the rise of tablets is quite apparent. Our research shows the click-through rates for search ads on tablets were 37% higher than ads placed on desktop searches and that by the end of 2013, tablets will account for 20% of Google’s paid-search ads clicks. Facebook wants to make sure they are optimizing for tablets and this is a step in that direction.” — Matt Lawson, VP of Marketing for Marin Software.
“Facebook’s latest redesign along with its acquisition of Microsoft’s Atlas demonstrates that they are trying to prove to advertisers that Facebook is the place to be. Many advertisers still question the wisdom of advertising on Facebook and this design is aimed partially at them. Also the redesign is done to keep Facebook alive and fresh, as one of the worries that it has had is that it is losing its luster and appeal.” — David E. Johnson, CEO, Strategic Vision, LLC.
“My concern is that Facebook will not be able to control and filter the ads for the new format and ensure the ads are relevant to the users which would cause the user to ignore the new, richer ad experience. Once the change takes effect, we will evaluate the users’ feedback of acceptance, non-acceptance and their new habits and adjust our FB strategy based on the feedback from these new changes. Facebook users HATE change, but they adapt every time and once they adapt, we will be able to market to them with a richer experience.” — Alvin V. Williams, Executive Vice President of Alchemy Networks.
“The Social Media Fatigue: Picture, Picture on the Wall; there are lot of goodies in the new announcement of today by Facebook and here are some key challenges: At what point too many pictures and too little or overly duplicated contents will make the experience further boring? What are the hidden powers of Bing over what Google is currently offering in rich contents? At what point a next generation social media driver hit the global market place and who will that be, Google, Facebook or something totally new? What new options will the ICANN gTLDs bring to surface and what level of interplay will this create on the global cyber-branding and social media chat? Picture-picture, chat-chat, post-post routines are now facing serious fatigue… dramatically new stuff is needed. Streaming of confusingly duplicated and diversely focused news may not be enough. Facebook has a great lead and must push for totally new formats and routines. The global commonality must be replaced by highly customized selection features to make this high value platform for the advertisers.” — Naseem Javed, author, Image Supremacy.
“The News Feed changes in Facebook are a welcome improvement and the aesthetic upgrades will help make the experience more engaging for users. Personally, the News Feed is the feature I use of the most, whether it be posting myself or engaging with my friends’ content, and I think increasing the real estate and imagery for the feed will increase user enjoyment for all. The segregated feeds are also a great step forward as is the user experience across devices. One of the most important things with mobile is familiarity and ease-of-use. Uniting this experience will encourage more people to interact consistently because the experience will be comfortable. While I think the updates are positive and progressive, I think we may be overstepping by calling them radical. I’m sure there are people beating their chests about the abomination of Facebook updating its interface just like they did with timeline. However, I am sure these people will adapt and stay. I assume at the core level, these changes will help target more advertising and offer some revenue generation upside for Facebook, and I am sure people will complain about that too. But, you must remember two things: Facebook is FREE, and at the end of the day, its most important feature is its members.” — Dan Roche, VP of Marketing, TalkPoint.
More to come…