One billion users are soon going to have customized newspapers, thanks to Facebook’s just-announced redesigned Newsfeed experience, which will also allow you to see all content from friends in chronological order.

The presentation included many references to the newspaper analogy – and how a newspaper has sections and allows you a choice of what to look at. Previously, this had been a fairly crowded experience: brands, ads, friends, news all in one place – which is nice, but at times people want to separate those things out and see updates in different sections.

updated Facebook newsfeed

A clean and simple look that spans desktop and mobile

One of the most interesting things I heard in the presentation was about how many Newsfeed stories are photos – almost 50% are now photos as of January 2013. This shows that overall, throughout all users’ Newsfeeds, almost a third of content at any time is visual.

newsfeed content

Even when FB wants to reward more text in EdgeRank, photos are still #winning.

This is a good thing – especially since there’s a bunch of data out there showing that visual content is the most engaging – but real information from friends means a lot as well. Conversations, not just photos, are a valuable piece of the Facebook experience, and they’ll have their territory as well.

For a long time, I have said that Facebook is all about curation. It’s about ensuring you know who you’re friends with and what brands you’re following, so your Newsfeed isn’t all clogged up with irrelevant information. You have to invest time in it to get the most value out of it, and the new redesign helps you do this very thing. By allowing users to show everything from everyone – friends and brands – you are able to see and be aware of who it is that you’re friends with and if you want to actually be connected with them anymore (Facebook’s new “no-clutter” mantra).

device-friendly newsfeed content

The redesign works across devices

Overall, it’s clear that this redesign rewards visual media – and especially quality visual media. From Facebook, in a post-announcement release: “In the same way that all content from friends is getting more visual with this redesign, Page posts, ads and sponsored stories are also becoming more visual, giving marketers a vibrant creative canvas to reach people in the most engaging placements of the site.”

It also brings you more information but in a more organized way that helps you to sort things out. And more options to look at, means you’ll spend more time within their ecosystem, which is exactly what they want (even without any ads updates, this is good news for advertisers).

So, think about this in reference to the redesign: a billion customized newspapers with engaged readers. No shock that more info on new ad types is on the way soon.

– Andrew Foxwell

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Andrew Foxwell
Andrew Foxwell grew up on a farm in western Wisconsin, where his Macintosh Quadra 610 with its lightning fast 28.8K dial-up connection first sparked his interest in digital marketing. After graduating from St. Olaf College, Andrew went to work as a digital director for a U.S. Congressional campaign, which led him to Washington, DC to work as a press secretary/new media director for a U.S. Congressman. Recognizing an opportunity for improved digital communications between members of Congress and their constituents, Andrew founded and managed the social media marketing agency within iConstituent, the leading online communications firm working with Congress. Andrew worked with members and staffs from both sides of the aisle to deepen much needed Congressional dialogue, improve constituent services, and create a more effective 21st century democracy. Andrew then took his diverse skillset to Silicon Valley where he directed the social media division of 3Q Digital, a full-service online marketing firm. There he tripled the agency’s social media client base, managed a team of account managers and production professionals, and oversaw an average monthly revenue growth of more than 20% while working with companies like Square, Fitbit, Eventbrite, 23andMe, Citrus Lane and more. Andrew is the CEO and Co-Founder of Foxwell Digital, a digital creative agency that works with clients as diverse as small-town cafes to multi-million dollar start-ups. Find him @andrewfoxwell and foxwelldigital.com.