Facebook to launch updated news feed, likely with more advertising

Facebook is getting a news feed makeover this afternoon, in an attempt to keep users engaged and to increase advertising opportunities.

The news feed update, to be announced by CEO Mark Zuckerberg a press conference at 1 p.m. ET, will be the first major upgrade for the news feed in about seven years. “Facebook has neglected the news feed, which has functioned largely the same since it launched on the web in 2006, and on iPhone in 2009,” writes TechCrunch’s Josh Constine. According to Constine’s sources, the updated news feed will include multiple feeds to better sort and group content, as well as bigger images.

The bigger images will, likely, make way for larger ads as well, something Zuckerberg hinted at during a Q4 earnings call at the end of January. “Advertisers want really rich things like big pictures or videos, and we haven’t provided those things historically,” he said.

The coming challenge will be to integrate these new ads without alienating the user. “They have to walk a fine line between the user’s needs and advertiser’s needs,” Karsten Weide, an analyst with IDC, told The New York Times.

There is also the challenge of changing the first page that users see when they log in, without changing it too much. As any Facebook user knows, other  users love to post updates complains about changes to Facebook.

“Facebook users don’t always take well to change,” writes CNN.