Facebook launched its new design today with an introduction from Mark Zuckerberg that this was the "best personalized newspaper" for the world. Well, I worked in the newspaper business, sir, and this is no newspaper. It's a better "user experience" than a newspaper's, but it's also worse.
Happily, in addition to a much-improved web experience that more closely mirrors the desktop, Facebook will now separate for you the feeds that you get from say, Social Media Today, and other content providers, celebrities, and fan pages, from your friend feeds, so that you can more clearly distinguish the two. But wasn't that friend validity what you went to Facebook for? You'll get terrific social visibility into what and whom friends are sharing on your content feed, but it's not clear how that will translate to the mobile device. Pinterest got a boost, with new third-party app support (as if Pinterest needed it).
But is this a newspaper? Newspapers were clearly simpler and actually helped you to focus your thinking, not drill it down. Regardless of whether you agreed with its point of view, you could rely on its authority. While Facebook seems to be bending towards a better sort of authority than its murky prior algorithm, it's still not clear, other than "most popular," what content posts will be provided. All, as one presenter said? Or most popular, as another said?
As reported ahead of time, images are much bigger and will be clearer and more dramatic. Albums will be improved, but I didn't catch that detail. In fact, I was dumped by the Mashable/LiveStream server before the end of the presentation, which leaves me with the most important question around the newspaper/not a newspaper issue: what will happen to the ads? Ads on mobile are extremely tricky. And nearly useless. But ads are what drove the independence and quality of newspapers for a couple of hundred years. What will drive Facebook's?
If I missed something, please let me know in the comments below. If you want to sign up early, go here https://www.facebook.com/about/newsfeed.