Facebook Prototypes a Story Style Newsfeed – The Buyer’s Journey 37

Facebook is prototyping a new newsfeed design, one based on the easily swipe-able Stories featured on Facebook and Instagram. But is the new Facebook prototype the best for the platform? We discuss.

The Awareness Stage: A Refresher

The Awareness Stage is the first stage in The Buyer’s Journey. During the Awareness stage, a prospective customer realizes they have a need or are made aware of a problem.

Swipe Away

Facebook is testing a new swipe-able newsfeed akin to their Stories feature. The new design, which mixes Stories and regular newsfeed posts together, was discovered by Jane Manchun Wong within the android version of Facebook. You can watch a screen recording of the prototype below.

The Facebook prototype is quite a dramatic shift from how we normally use the platform. With the new design, images and videos would become significantly more prominent and easier to engage with. Text, specifically paragraphs of text, would become much less readable and more likely to be skipped. An additional benefit is a rapid fire approach on updates from your friends and family. Instead of having to scroll every time, now a simple tap or swipe will move things along.

Of course, usability isn’t the only thing Facebook is thinking about. They’re also thinking about a way to maximize their ad revenue. Making ads harder to miss (aka taking up a full screen) is a great way to increase impressions. In addition, many Facebook users are moving their attention to Stories, rather than the normal Facebook feed. That means ads on the feed don’t get as many views. Furthermore, advertisers are still acclimating to advertising on Stories, making the ad density much lower.

What We Think

In the episode we discuss our feelings on the new feed. Personally, Josh and I are not huge fans. I dislike having everything merely a tap away and under a time limit. Sometimes the best reactions come from being able to think for a moment. I feel as though this prototype would deter individuals from making well thought out comments, and instead default to only a few words. Not to say every post needs a paragraph reaction, but some conversations certainly warrant it.

Len, on the other hand, finds it quite interesting. He’s looking forward to seeing where it develops from here. After all, this is what testing is for.

Check out our next episode where we’ll discuss a news article covering the Consideration stage of The Buyer’s Journey.

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