There is always something to dislike about Facebook. The mobile experience needs serious improvement, the current news feed is convoluted and many teens no longer think it’s cool, to name a few. As Zuckerberg and company roll out their updated news feed in the coming weeks, however, it’s worth noting that the redesign takes a cue from Pinterest and Instagram (which Facebook owns). The experience will focus on larger visuals; images and links will be prominent and front and center.
Yes, this new format is preferable to advertisers and by extension the investor community, but it also clearly points to a larger trend of social media content consumption. It is all about images and video. Pinterest and Instagram are viral, and YouTube as well as other rich media sharing sites are growing exponentially. About fifty percent of Facebook posts include a photo or video, compared to twenty-five percent just over a year ago.
Businesses that wish to have a strong social media presence must provide visuals that are worth sharing. And when Facebook, the granddaddy of social media sites with well over one billion users worldwide, shifts its focus to a visuals-centered design, we all should take note. Whether Facebook has lost some of its cool is debatable, but it still matters.