Facebook is set to unveil its new and improved News Feed tomorrow, Thursday, March 7.
A lot of speculation points to a more visual Facebook News Feed with bigger photos, and it has been said that the ads on the right side will be removed, making way for a bigger News Feed that mixes in ad-supported messages.
The update will change up both its web portal and mobile apps, and with mobile such an important focal point for Facebook, we wonder how these presumed News Feed changes will affect users’ mobile experience, as well as Facebook’s own revenue streams.
In a previous article, we discussed three features Facebook could incorporate into its News Feed to make it better. This time we’ll be tackling the possible features Facebook could incorporate into its mobile apps with regards to its new and improved News Feed.
Bigger and more ads – The majority of Facebook’s revenue comes from advertising mostly on its web portal but revenue from mobile ads are slowly making ground. With an improved News Feed, Facebook could leverage this to incorporate more ads in its mobile apps. Since mobile devices have smaller screens, Facebook could focus on more graphic or photo-centric ads placed on its mobile app.
Targeted approach – In the previous piece, we discussed how the News Feed could become more people-centric and deliver local news and alerts. This feature can be delivered much better on a mobile device because of location awareness (GPS). It can throw you news alerts, warnings, road construction, traffic reports based on your current location.
Aside from that, it can be used for targeted ads as well. When you’re using Facebook while you’re out shopping, and you walk by a certain store, an ad for a special discount could simply pop up on a user’s News Feed.
Walking ads – Right now, you can’t go out to dinner without seeing people snapping photos of the food, the restaurant, the menu and each other. So Facebook could incorporate Instagram on its mobile device so it would be easier for people to snap, edit and post Instagram images on Facebook.
There’s also an ad opportunity for this. The reason why people are becoming photophiliacs, aside from being self-absorbed, is that almost everyone dreamed of becoming a print ad model at least once in their lives. Instagram makes use of hashtags, and since a lot of people on Facebook use hashtags it should really start using # as well, so posting photos on Instagram via Facebook, could connect people to brands. The brands, in turn, could extend rewards, points or monetary compensation to the user.
While an updated News Feed could become more of an ad-ready revenue stream for Facebook, such changes could drive away users. An article on Forbes recently caught my attention regarding how bigger ads could push people into deleting their Facebook accounts. This seriously got me thinking.
Everyone is eager to see what the new Facebook News Feed will look like, and there’s so much talk about ads, and I’m guilty of that one as well. I failed to consider the fact that I hate ads, and I’m not the only one. Some ads are informative, some entertaining, but a lot are just plain annoying. And making ads bigger and more prominent on Facebook may just do it for some. Facebook could see a huge drop in its users.
Again, I ask, would this change in Facebook be for the better or will this finally seal its fate and go down the drain like its fallen brothers MySpace, Friendster and Multiply?