On Friday, Facebook users noticed a change in the display of their News Feed and an alert on the screen advising of the new topic-focused streams.
We know Facebook’s been testing out the new streams for a while, they were spotted on the desktop version in October and mobile in December. In April, they were being tested on Android devices.
How widespread those tests are we’re not sure, but it looks like they’re now rolling them out more widely and they are available in Australia right now.
The default listings are based on the content you interact with most on the network, but you can add and remove topics by clicking on the gear icon at the right of the screen.
On selecting a new topic to add, Facebook prompts the user to select niche content sub-topics within the overall topic. For example, under Animals & Pets, it asks: “Which Animals & Pets are your favorites?” The user can select sub-topics such as “amazing animals,” “animal facts” and “animal rights.”
When posting new content, an additional ‘Topics’ option is available so you can choose a category that fits with the content you are posting.
This offers another way for people to access content that is relevant to them, however the feeds do not currently appear to be tied to your interests, so how helpful they will be is hard to say at this point in time.
For brands, the already tricky business of getting content seen may have just gotten that little bit harder, but it is early stages.
If the feeds are further refined, they could wind up being beneficial to both users and Facebook. Give them a whirl!