Facebook newsfeed changes could attract teens

1:11 PM, Mar 8, 2013   |    comments
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(NBC) -- Hoping to attract and keep more users, Facebook announced some changes Thursday.

Some are wondering if this is really just an attempt to stem the flow of those who've already decided to leave Facebook.

The changes affect the Newsfeed, the page Facebook users land on that shows updates from friends, as well as other info.

It's a redesign that CEO Mark Zuckerberg says focuses more on photos than text, with an emphasis on timely content.

"What we're trying to do is give everyone the best personalized newspaper we can," he claims.

The changes are designed to keep users active and interacting with the site, which appeals to Facebook advertisers.

But some social media experts say it's also about Facebook trying to rekindle its original appeal.

"They're hoping to kind of grab back people who are going to apps like Instagram where it's more photo focused," says CNET Senior Editor Bridget Carey.

Carey says Facebook executives admit the site's fallen out of favor, especially with teenagers who've turned to sites like Snapchat, whose appeal is the posted photo disappearing seconds after being posted.

Carey adds the real reason teenagers go here is because their parents don't.

"Where they have their own little internal community that their parents aren't on," she says. "Isn't that the key always with teenagers to be on a place that's just for you."

She says getting the teenage users back could prove as challenging to Facebook as they often prove to their parents.


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