News Feed on Facebook is about to change in a way no one can imagine
Compared to other applications, it seems a bit old-fashioned. Recognizing this problem, Facebook is testing a new, heavily tweaked interface and hopes that it will be rolled out to everyone soon.
This conveyor-style interface was discovered by programmer Jane Manchun Wong. Wong is known for reversing the source of Facebook and other apps to find new features that are coming or in beta.
Facebook's new style merge interface discoveredAccording to what Wong discovered on the Facebook Android app, the social networking giant is experimenting with integrating News Feed posts into Stories. Users will no longer browse Facebook by swiping down, instead, they swipe horizontally like carousel view Stories current view. "By integrating posts and Stories into one, Facebook users can see both at once in the same content stream," Wong wrote on Twitter. "This interface also displays regular ad posts just like on the News Feed."
If users stop swiping down, Facebook's ad business will be in big trouble. But by allowing regular posts and ads to integrate with Stories in a swipe-to-landscape format, users can more easily glance over, attract more views as well as more ad revenue. This helped Facebook transition to the post-News Feed subtly and helped ad units launch full-screen Stories format.
In the image below you can see how the new interface works on Facebook. Specifically, in a photo a person is swiping through a notification to update a friend's avatar on the right and Stories occupying the full screen on the left.
Facebook has officially confirmed that this is an initial prototype of the new News Feed. A Facebook spokesperson told TechCrunch that it currently has no plans to publicly test this feature because more research is still needed before starting testing.
Users can like, drop emoticons or comment on posts while still inside the carousel interface. Facebook has allowed you to bring News Feed posts to Stories since last year, but they are still reformatted to look like Stories instead of retaining the old design and white background as we see here.
Facebook's advertising business will not be affected by the changing behavior of users from computers to mobile devices if they decide to choose a carousel interface as their way of browsing social networks in the future. The News Feed scrolls vertically (swiping down), which is useful for text-heavy content, but requires more navigational manipulation. Users have to swipe, stop and continue swiping to be able to browse the entire post and thus take a lot of time to switch between pieces of content.
Conversely, the Stories carousel provides a more convenient type of navigation, where posts always appear fully present. With just one tap, users will browse all the next content easily, reducing pressure on the fingers. Although not yet very optimized for text-heavy content, this feature helps them attract more attention. If Facebook combines all of them with Stories' must-see ads just like what Snapchat is using, they will attract even more ad revenue.
Stories is a bustling emerging neighborhood. News Feed is a waning industrial city, the main source of revenue for Facebook, but it is slowly turning into a ghost town. The carousel interface that combines News Feed and Stories will be like a highway between them, connecting a place where Facebook users want to spend most of their time with a place that secures a source of revenue for Facebook.
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