Facebook redesigns news feed with larger link previews, circular profile photos

While mostly cosmetic, Facebook's changes are meant to make its social network easier to use.

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A few months after Twitter tweaked the look of its feed, it’s now Facebook’s turn to make some mostly cosmetic changes.

On Tuesday, Facebook rolled out a redesign of its news feed that adopts circular profile photos (like Twitter did), enhances link previews of posts and makes comment threads more apparent.

In a blog post announcing the design changes, Facebook didn’t explain why it is swapping out the traditional square profile photos appended to people’s posts and comments for circular ones.  However, seemingly every other social network — from Twitter to Instagram to Snapchat to Pinterest to LinkedIn — already uses circular profile photos.

Facebook’s changes to link previews are more than cosmetic. In addition to displaying slightly larger photos attached to a link, Facebook is adding a shaded background to link text to make it easier to read.

Facebook LinkPreviewRedesign

Facebook redesigned link previews with larger photos and shaded backgrounds. Source: Facebook.

And while Facebook hasn’t been criticized for a clunky or confusing user interface like Twitter, it is still cleaning things up. For example, it is enlarging the like, comment and share buttons attached to posts. And it will now display comments within message bubbles to make it easier to see when a comment is responding to the original post and when a comment is responding to another comment in a thread.

Facebook CommentRedesign

Facebook’s comments redesign makes it easier to recognize threaded comments. Source: Facebook.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.

About the author

Tim Peterson
Tim Peterson, Third Door Media's Social Media Reporter, has been covering the digital marketing industry since 2011. He has reported for Advertising Age, Adweek and Direct Marketing News. A born-and-raised Angeleno who graduated from New York University, he currently lives in Los Angeles. He has broken stories on Snapchat's ad plans, Hulu founding CEO Jason Kilar's attempt to take on YouTube and the assemblage of Amazon's ad-tech stack; analyzed YouTube's programming strategy, Facebook's ad-tech ambitions and ad blocking's rise; and documented digital video's biggest annual event VidCon, BuzzFeed's branded video production process and Snapchat Discover's ad load six months after launch. He has also developed tools to monitor brands' early adoption of live-streaming apps, compare Yahoo's and Google's search designs and examine the NFL's YouTube and Facebook video strategies.

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