The Facebook Open Graph has allowed developers to create numerous types of applications based on all the core Facebook activities, but these applications are generating so much data that Facebook is unable to stream them in newsfeeds. To allow users to get all the information related to them and the applications they are using on their news feeds, Facebook appears to be changing the design of the newsfeed. With the new newsfeed design, Facebook is looking to stuff as much data as possible into the newsfeeds so that users do not miss out on any Open Graph information.
This task is proving quite challenging for Facebook and it is experimenting with many newsfeed designs to come up with the one that looks neat and can pack a lot of information. Here are some of the changes that users have noticed that you could possibly see in your newsfeed in the near future:
Ad modules with three columns
Facebook newsfeeds offer very little advertising space and with the number of apps and ads increasing exponentially on Facebook, the company is finding it difficult to recommend applications to users in a manner that is hard to miss. The social network giant has rolled out the three column ad unit to some Facebook users, where it groups three ads into one unit where previously there used to be only one ad. This technique helps Facebook display more ads in less space.
Some experts suggest that this new design will allow Facebook to earn more ad revenues as the ads have now been moved from the desktop sidebar to the main feed. Ads in feeds are known to have more engagement and click-throughs. This new design also shows you the friends that have liked the page or app and allows you to like the page directly from the ad unit.
This new design has also been extended to the Games feature on Facebook and is called “Games your friends are playing”. This unit will show you three games that your friends are playing along with their names and allows you to start playing the game via the “Play Now” link. The three game suggestions change every time the newsfeed is refreshed.
Open Graph stories in two columns
Apps that use Facebook Open Graph allow users to share stories about the app with friends directly from the app itself and thereby allows easier distribution of the app. However, the number of stories about interactions with numerous apps on Facebook is so vast that most are getting lost in the newsfeeds of users and are going unnoticed. So now Facebook is giving more space to stories about Open Graph applications and it stuffing more information into these story modules.
Now the unit contains two columns for Open Graph stories and each column has a large image. The images are much larger than the thumbnails displayed in the old Open Graph story module design – it is now 2.6 times bigger than the old images. Calls-to-action such as “Like” and “Comment” are placed in every column. If more stories are present in the module than users can expand the module to see more than two Open Graph stories.