Facebook is finally rolling out that News Feed redesign it has talked about for a year, but the end result is a lot less drastic than it was originally meant to be.

It took nearly a year, but Facebook’s News Feed will get a minimalist makeover. After originally nnouncing a redesign campaign in March of 2013, Facebook said Thursday that it will begin rolling out its new layout and design — but what’s coming will look different than what was touted in the past.

My colleague Om Malik had the opportunity to review the new, photo-focused News Feed when it was unveiled last year. At the time, he praised the look’s focus on photos and responsive design, but felt it didn’t do much for Facebook at large:

“I have spent a lot of time with the redesign and I am not clear how this solves Facebook’s two major challenges: retention and engagement. Yes, it is lovely, and the notifications are sort of nicer, but it still does nothing to make me come back more often and actually if anything I will spend less time. I can skim photos and bounce much faster.”

Ultimately, the version Om reviewed never got off the ground — according to Re/code, feedback numbers were so low that the company went back to the drawing board. Apparently, that involved scaling back on the changes, including advanced filters and an array of subsections to compartmentalize the experience. That level of control, it seems, will be left to Paper, Facebook’s alternative mobile app that relies on curation to present different experiences for the News Feed.


Instead, the redesign leaves the columns alone and instead focuses on the little things: better design details and a bigger focus on photos. It’s no radical change, but it is less likely to cause confusion for those who encounter the new News Feed for the first time.

The company says that changes are expected to roll out this week, but it’s likely that more feedback will be collected before the company feels confident in their overall direction.

Feature image courtesy from Flickr/SpencerEHoltaway

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  1. I already got it this afternoon. It is AWFUL ! It is so tiresome on my eyes ! Why oh why would you do this ???

    1. I agree! Isn’t there any way to put it back the way it was? STOP MAKING CHANGES, FB!

      1. Michael Hejlskov Nielsen Gayle63 Tuesday, April 8, 2014

        yes terrible

  2. I got it too. It’s less easy to read, and for people who play FB-based games, it could well ruin them completely: For the game I play, all the icons that would identify the type of game post it was are gone, forcing me to read the actual headline. That may sound trite, but when you have to wade through 100-200 posts a day, having graphic icons are a LOT easier to sort through than text.

    Thumbs down.

  3. Give me a few weeks to get used to it to see how it wears on me, but for now It looks like you’re looking at the mobile version of the site. It doesn’t take advantage of the higher level of refinement that a desktop browser can offer. For somereason it looks a little bit tabloidy to me too.

  4. It’s horrible! It’s huge. I’m a gamer on FB and it’s awful.

    1. Me too, and this stinks.

  5. Annette Burns Sunday, March 9, 2014

    From these reviews, it looks like I will need to find a new platform and new games to play. For 8 years I have scrolled the news feed for post from one or two games that I play. If I have to slow down and read every post to see if it pertains to any of the games I play….well, it’s just not worth my time. I’ll be looking for a new platform and games similar to what I have been enjoying on Facebook.

  6. Charmain Hall Monday, March 10, 2014

    Leave the Damn feed alone. I want most recent from my friends. I don’t want a drop down to change it. I just want most recent as the default. If I want game feeds I want to have them on a list and choose when I see them and don’t need huge pictures from games just icons. I only have a small tablet and changing the gift icons to big pictures takes up whole page. Why do you have to keep changing things. Suggested sites should be on the side in a separate box not among the feeds. Grrrr

  7. Agreed = worthless for gaming. Also – said it would leave columns alone but my “feed” section is smaller and more blockish and each post takes up 3x the space. Real pain. Cant find what I want from Apps/Games and things tend to be “renewed” when commented on or liked so I cant see things from games that were posted seconds ago. Very Bothersome! HATE IT. Where is the reset button?

  8. GoodnessGracious Goodnessgracious Wednesday, March 12, 2014

    Can’t stand the new format of my FB newsfeed….all the replies concerning the size, etc….are spot on….why did they think they had to fix it….it was not broken….I want the old news feed….give us a choice….

  9. Deborah Hoobler Thursday, March 13, 2014

    Change it back, or at least give us the option to pick the one we want to use on our home page. This recent change is the worst one I’ve seen since I got a FB account back in 2009

  10. Shirley Kinney Thursday, March 13, 2014

    IT STINKS….got it Sat night 3/8/14 and since then they have managed to do what my husband has been unable to do since farmville started….take my 12 or more hrs of playing a day to 2 -3 hrs only because I’m cheap and won’t lose the fv cash if I don’t harvest my 21 cash calves and cows daily. I even had someone harvest them when I went on vacations…I also cancelled my monthly membership and do not plan on buying any more farms or anything else. I have bought every farm they came out with but now I’m done. 1 to 1/2 posts on a 17″ screen is ridiculous….I can’t have the unclaimed feed or the get rid of my ghost neighbors myself without having to try to contact support and practically begging them to do it but I’m forced to have this garbage that I don’t want. When you complain on Facebook about it, you’re basically told to suck it up and get used to it or quit….Well, I’m in the process of quitting and will never play another game that has to be played through Facebook.

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