Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook just took the wraps off a newly redesigned News Feed that's more visually driven and will offer a consistent design across desktop and mobile. That means the left-hand menu is always just off to the side, and you'll be able to jump to the top of your feed whenever new stories arrive.
As is the Facebook's modus operandi, the new News Feed design will be rolled out slowly over the next few weeks. It will become available on the desktop first, and will roll out to iPhone, iPad and Android devices soon after. To sign up to be among the first to try it out, go to www.facebook.com/newsfeed.
Among the many methods for reducing your news clutter that Facebook will now offer are specific feeds for the things you most care about. Specifically there are now chronologically-organized feeds for the updates from absolutely all your friends, just your family or close friends, a feed of just photos or music and a feed of the pages you like and people you follow. That way, when reading your friends' updates you're not assaulted with a new coupon from Macy's, and visa versa.
Since nearly 30 percent of all content on Facebook is made up of photos and considering Facebook's integration with Instagram, the photo-specific feed makes sense. Speaking of, your Facebook photo albums will also get a face-lift with bigger pictures and more small shots when pics are added to albums. And now when you post a geo-tagged photo a map will appear showing your friends exactly where you were when that shot was taken.
Never fear, while the left nav panel isn't going away, there is also an option to view your News Feed with all the same jumble of content you've always had.
When various Facebook principals were asked if they considered the "gradual" release of the new News Feed a beta version, they said no. But added that as this new version is slowly and selected released to various users, the design will be tweaked based on these user's experience. That resembles a test period and means what is released now is NOT the final version. In other words this News Feed is really a beta, but that just depends on who you are talking to.