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March 15, 2013

New Facebook News Feed Gets It Right

Facebook generally creates a lot of grumbling across the Internet every time it tweaks its news feed. Some of this has been justified, with past moves burying posts or information from pages.

Yet the most recent change, which is designed to bring unity across its desktop and mobile applications, brings improved polish and discoverability to the social network.

The interface is definitely inspired by mobile design with its use of white space, larger fonts and scrolling effects. Yet its emphasis on finding information and a consistent look is what truly can improve Facebook usage.

The next challenge is maintaining this unity across a diversity of platforms. For too long the Android version of Facebook has lagged behind iOS. Even after a complete redesign with its current form, I find the Android app still to be buggy and not as smooth when comparing Facebook on my Nexus 4 or iPhone 4S.

If Facebook was just another app people would discard it and move on. But it isn’t. It has become the social network of record, one that even those who generally eschew the social like myself just can’t ignore. Using the Internet now means to some degree using Facebook. If the social network is going to bring about the kind of presence to match its ambitions, the quality of that experience must then match it.

With this next move, Facebook must produce a reliable, consistent platform for its users. Just as when we fire up a web browser or power on a phone, we want Facebook to work as quickly and reliably. Facebook’s redesign is one that has an eye on the future, and if things continue to improve it can be a good move for the social network’s user base.

Image Credit: Facebook

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