Facebook is shaking things up once again on its desktop platform — this time focusing in on breaking up the site's news feed.
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On Thursday, the company is expected to unveil big changes to its homepage feed, likely making it both more visual and content specific to users. The retooling comes barely a month after it unveiled Graph Search, a refined search feature that users are still grappling to understand.
"They will begin to introduce News Feeds that can be filtered, like a pages feed, music feed and picture feed," said Jason Stein, founder and president of the social media agency Laundry Service, in what he called a "fragmentation" of Facebook's capabilities.
"It will give users a way to look at the content they want all in one place," he added.
Basically, Facebook will likely roll out a function in the News Feed that will enable users to filter the feed to only show certain content, Stein said. For example, if a user wants to just view a stream of what their friends are listening to, they would be able to do so.
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The social networking Goliath is also planning to show off "richer" media, including larger images and blown-up videos, Stein said.
"Zuckerberg is keen on design perspective," Stein said, speaking about Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's wunderkind CEO. Stein added that Facebook is likely trying to mimic the features that make photo sharing networks so popular.
"I think they are going to put bigger photos in that feed so that it feels more like an Instagram or Pinterest," he said. "It's kind of like taking a bit of Flipboard and Twitter and putting it into Facebook.
Facebook declined to comment on any specifics regarding the changes to the feed. However, in a quarterly earnings call, Zuckerberg hinted of changes to images and video.
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"Historically, advertisers want really rich things like big pictures or videos and we haven't provided those things historically," Zuckerberg said. "But, one of the things that we've done in the last year is you've seen the organic news feed product that consumers use moving towards bigger pictures, richer media and I think you'll continue to see it go in that direction."
Right now, one of the most frequent user complaints is that they cannot control content displayed in their News Feed.
The content from a user's friends is usually not displayed chronologically in the feed, but by an algorithm that predicts what the user is most likely to engage with. Facebook says it is working to address this issue with new filtered feeds.
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"People get all hot and bothered about not letting you see certain posts, but actually the engineers go above and beyond to make sure you see posts you want to see and content you have engaged with before," Stein said. "The change will help them bubble up content...It will give it more of the original feel it had of chronological order."
Eventually, Stein said he would like to see the company introduce a Filter for the News Feed that could be based on users' interests. Those changes, he added, aren't likely to happen right away.
Interest-based streams would allow for the user to set a filter that would only show content related to posts they have liked on Facebook.
While Facebook is expected to announce these changes Thursday, it is unlikely the company will roll out the same changes to mobile devices — at least not yet.
"I know that they've been working on a completely redesigned mobile experience, I just don't expect to see that tomorrow," Stein said.