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What Facebook Should Retain Amid Redesign

Facebook is set to unveil a new look for its News Feed feature, with an aim to add new information streams to each user’s home page, plus the intent to launch new ways to ‘filter’ the contents of the feed. To some, the upcoming change also means that creator Mark Zuckerberg is deliberately making users spend more time looking at more display ads on the service.

A lot of users are just waiting for the changes to be rolled out. At the same time, a lot has raised eyebrows, too, citing that instead of redesigning everything, Facebook should just improve on its deficiencies, and so on.

While it would be easy to list down all the things that Facebook should improve upon, it would be easier to list down the things they’ve been doing right. These are what should be retained by the social network giant even if it’s rolling out a new design for its news feed:

Sharing Visual Media

Even with the growth of media-intensive social products like Instagram, Vine, Pinterest, and the like, Facebook remains a favorite platform for those people who want to share anything that contains a visual component. The Facebook News Feed, which is set to have its new look unveiled real soon, is responsible for making people spend more time within the Zuckerberg-founded social network due to its ability to host and highlight content with photos, graphs, charts, videos, and other visual elements – and it should remain that way. It was, at least for this writer, a good training ground for stalking friends. Hopefully, the improvements will still emphasize on and take advantage of this key feature.

Web Content Discovery

Facebook is still the most ideal place to find buzz-worthy and interesting articles that are worth sharing. Unlike Twitter or the usual RSS or news feeds where the probability of missing things that are published is bigger, Facebook still has that edge in the sense that it presents the ‘trending’ story or item on top of your feed. I wasn’t on Twitter when I found out what the Harlem Shake and Gangnam Style were; I was on Facebook. I didn’t learn about Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation if it hadn’t surfaced on my news feed.

Digital Directory

If the impending Facebook redesign will hit this area exponentially, then it may be game over for the Menlo Park-headquartered company. Facebook is still the largest directory for most people, because it is the primary place to search for (and find) some important particulars like personal numbers, business phone numbers, addresses, schools, work, and other pertinent information of their digital contacts and acquaintances. Plus, the ability to show and hide people in the news feed to avoid clutter only adds up to the collective affection for this feature even more. After asking around, this writer found out that most people like this feature above everything else on Facebook, so if Zuck makes changes on this contact directory feature that this site has, it’s a guarantee that many will be pissed off. And he certainly doesn’t want that to happen.

The Facebook feed has been basically the same since its launch in the mid-2000s. The times have changed; people nowadays have turned into information junkies who keep reshuffling and sorting the content they want to see, depending on their preferences. Maybe it’s high time that Facebook stirs it up a little.

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