The leading social network appears to have heard the complaints from marketers, including many in Hollywood, who say that their stuff often is lost in Facebook News Feeds that are awash with clutter. Pictures and images will become a lot more prominent in what execs describe as a more attractive and more customizable News Feed that they introduced this afternoon. The company will begin to offer it in a limited way on the web today, and make the version for mobile devices available over the next few weeks. In the new designs, individual photos and albums will be larger. So will logos from the publishers of linked articles, and maps when people identify locations. Users also can tailor the experience, for example by following and isolating what friends are sharing, photos, posts about music, and news and other material from people and content providers the user likes. The goal is to make the News Feed “the best personalized newspaper” CEO Mark Zuckerberg says. He notes that about half of all posts include photos. The enhanced ability to tap into music could help Facebook lure people from destinations including YouTube, Spotify, and the revamped MySpace. The company said little about ads, a big concern for users (who dislike clutter) and investors (who like the sales revenue). Facebook shares are up about 2% in early afternoon trading after slipping slightly during the company’s presentation. Execs say that the revamp is a work in progress as they take a firehose of information available to users and break it into several smaller ones that may be more manageable, depending on the context and device being used to access Facebook.
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