Facebook redesigns News Feed by borrowing key features from mobile app

Facebook’s News Feed redesign is about to land in cyberspace and takes its cue from its mobile companion in a move that strikes a death knell for its “personalised newspaper” plans announced last year.

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The social network announced via a press release that the News Feed refresh brings many of the elements of the mobile version of Facebook to the desktop and the two versions are now the closest they have ever been.

“People who tested it told us that they liked the bigger photos and images, but found it more difficult to navigate Facebook overall. The updated design has the best of both worlds: it keeps the layout and navigation people liked, but offers bigger images and photos, as well as a new font. The current design on mobile remains the same,” read a post on the Facebook blog explaining the move.

The confusion suffered by some users when it was last redesigned contributed to the background being made darker so as to let the sidebars stand out from the News Feed in the middle of the page. In addition to this, Facebook has made tweaks to the iconography, changed to a new set of fonts [Helvetica and Arial], enlarged photos, and added story cards.

It ultimately means that the radical redesign that was announced by the social network back in March 2013 has been almost completely abandoned apart from the presence of larger photos in the News Feed.

That heralded design was supposed to be the precursor to Facebook’s News Feed acting as a “personalised newspaper”, something that users weren’t enamoured to. Facebook may now instead choose to launch its own Flipboard-style mobile newspaper app, which has been rumoured for some months.

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Facebook’s latest changes will have no effect on the way content is delivered to customers and it announced that the changes would be rolled out automatically over the coming weeks.