Facebook expected to roll out redesign Thursday

Facebook gets another facelift on Thursday

The company has scheduled a news conference for 10 a.m. PT at its Menlo Park, Calif. headquarters to take the wraps off the changes designed to add “stickiness” to the site and make it more appealing to advertisers. The overhaul, which focuses on the service’s news feed feature, is being touted as the largest redesign since the company launched the feature in 2006.

Larger photos and better music integration are expected to highlight the redesign, as well as a better way to filter content in the feed—a chronic complaint among Facebook users.

Currently, what’s posted to member’s news feed is primarily determined by an algorithm that’s as mysterious as Google’s search algorithm. It’s also been a sore point with Facebook members, including some prominent ones like Mark Cuban and George Takei.

Other types of feeds could also gain greater prominence on the news feed page with this redesign, according to TechCrunch. Currently, music, pages-only, and offers feeds are buried on the news feed page. Those feeds as well as new ones that inform a member what their friends are doing outside of Facebook could gain better visibility in the redesign. A photo-only feed might be a hit with image-obsessed members, too.

A major driver behind this redesign appears to be Facebook’s never-ending quest for advertising. CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s said as much during an earnings call with Wall Street analysts in January.

“For new ad experiences, I’m looking forward to doing more with different kinds of media,” Zuckerberg said. “As our news feed design evolves to show richer kinds of stories, that opens up new opportunities to offer different kinds of ads as well.”

“[H]istorically, advertisers want really rich things like big pictures or videos and we haven’t provided those things historically,” he added.

The redesign may also be a reaction to recent findings that the social network is losing it stickiness for its members. Last month, the Pew Internet Project reported that significant numbers of Facebook members were losing interest in the service. And that could impact the willingness of advertisers to pay up for spots on the Facebook.

Whatever the redesign looks like, if history is any indicator, it’s bound to stir up the crankiness quotient at the site. We’ll know for certain in a few hours when we’ll have a full report on whatever Facebook reveals.

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