Facebook to unveil revamped News Feeds on March 7

Unclear if update applies to mobile, desktop or both

Technology trends and news by Steven Loeb
March 1, 2013
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Facebook is about to make yet another big announcement! Aren't you excited?

Remember that the last time Facebook invited reporters to its headquarters, it did so by sending out a cryptic message that simply read "Come and see what we're building." The outcome of that event was, of course, Graph Search, which represented a big step forward for Facebook.

So it's easy to see why there is a feeling of anticipation the next time around. Could Facebook be making yet another announcement on that same level? If so, what could it be?

Well, you don't have to wonder too much since Facebook is being slightly less mysterious about what is going to be revealed this time around, although there is still a little bit of uncertainty about which platforms might be affected.

Facebook has sent out an invitation to various media outlets, which reads, "Come see a new look for News Feed." The event is going to be held on Thursday, March 7 at 10 a.m. Pacific Time.

Seems pretty straightforward, though what is unclear is what Facebook means by News Feeds. Does that pertains to mobile, desktop or both?

Of course, it would make the most sense for Facebook to focus on the mobile version of the app, as users are flocking there heavily and it is seeing an influx of advertising dollars. 

In its most recent quarterly earnings report, Facebook reported that mobile MAUs were 680 million as of the end of last year, an increase of 57% year-to-year. Mobile DAUs exceeded web DAUs for the first time in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Mobile revenue represented approximately 23% of advertising revenue for the fourth quarter of 2012, up from approximately 14% of advertising revenue in the third quarter of 2012.

In a conference call following the fourth quarter, Zuckerberg dropped some hints about what the Facebook's mobile future would look like.

Last year involved a lot of improving the company's mobile development process, he said. Now that the company has done that, it will focus on building really good mobile first experiences, 

"This will be a big theme for us this year," Zuckerberg said. "If we do this well, we should be able to build even more relevant content, and connections, to more people and continue to deepen their engagement."

Facebook previously updated its iOS app in August, cutting down on load times.

There is also the possibility that Facebook could be only updating the desktop version of News Feed, at least at first. And while this does not seem likely, considering Facebook's mobile first agenda, the company has also been testing out redesigned versions of Timeline as well. If it did both, it would be almost a complete overhaul of the existing website, chaning both the homepage and the userpages.

Vator has reached out to Facebook to get more details about what News Feeds will be receiving the update, and we will let you know if we hear more.

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