MENLO PARK, Calif. (USA Today) - Facebook's News Feed has a new face, which may bring a frown from the newspaper industry.
The revamped look - with bigger photos and richer video on a member's profile - is clearly designed to have the look and feel of a newspaper. A "switcher" tool bar on News Feed lets Facebook members switch to different sections, as they would the sports or life section in a paper.
With the new look, users can dive into posts of all their friends, in chronological order; they can view a revamped music feed to see what artists are posting and where they are performing; and find various games.
"There really is a place in the world for a personalized newspaper," Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a briefing today at the company's headquarters here. "How we're all sharing is changing."
The new News Feed has more of a visual look, with bigger photos, video and elements of one's profile in Timeline to appeal to consumers and businesses. Zuckerberg says the company hopes to reduce "clutter" and increase engagement on one's Facebook page.
Facebook's new look is also designed to improve its ability to sell ads via mobile devices. Since it began placing ads on News Feed, Facebook sold more mobile display revenue in the USA than any other ad publisher last year, eMarketer estimates. It took home 18.4% of the market, edging Google (17%), which is also making strides.
On Wednesday, Google added bigger photos and improved navigation tools to Google+, its social-networking rival to Facebook.
The revamped News Feeds "reflects elements of some of the most popular apps" on Facebook, such as Path and Spotify, that let people share photos and music with friends, says Micah Adler, CEO of Fiksu, whose technology optimizes mobile ads on Facebook. "Facebook is unifying the best of mobile and social into a singular experience."
Facebook is rolling out the feature - as it often does - slowly over the next few weeks for the Web, smartphones and tablets. The last major change for Facebook's look was the introduction of its search function this year.
The news sent Facebook shares up 4% today, to $28.60.