Facebook is Now Testing New Link Formats and Icons in News Feeds

Facebook appears to be adding new changes to the news feed and timeline frequently to be able to give users the best possible user experience. It is obvious that visual content is more interesting and eye-catching than plain textual content and the social networking giant is making a push towards improving the prominence of pictures in news feeds and timelines of users. Facebook is testing two link formats – both of which are geared towards increasing the prominence of the images associated with links.

Larger pictures and icons

One of the link formats being tested displays a large, high-quality image from the source article, which takes up the entire width of the news feed. To accommodate such a large image the headline and the description or summary of the article has been removed. Instead, users can click on the image to go to the source of the article. Currently, clicking on any image associated with a link merely opens the picture in lightbox view. If this change is implemented, then users will be able to see a large image along with one or two sentences from the article and the source of the link in their newsfeeds.

This change may not be seen in video content as Facebook users prefer watching videos directly in the lightbox view and they do not want to be taken to the source of the video when they click on it. The second link format, which is being tested, looks similar to the current version with an additional icon and name of the source website of the link at the bottom-right hand corner of the link. Users will be able to see a picture from the source on their left-hand side with the headline and description next to the picture. However, the icon of the source website will be displayed prominently along with the link post.

Previous changes made by Facebook

This link format change does not come as a surprise to experts as Facebook has been tweaking and conducting tests on its news feed and timeline features for a long time now. A few months back, Facebook introduced larger thumbnail images of 154×154 pixel size. After this, Facebook rolled out a new timeline design to users in New Zealand where the timeline had just one column. The social media platform is also testing new ad designs where three ads are being grouped into one unit.

There is no news yet as to when the new link format will be launched officially and which one will be the chosen format. Facebook users and online marketers are waiting with bated breath to know more about the link formats. Social media and content marketers now have to make sure that high-quality and stunning images are being added to articles and blog posts so that they look good when shared on Facebook.

Follow Paul on Google+