Facebook says inspiration of News Feed redesign came from mobile devices

MENLO PARK, Calif. - Facebook unveiled a new look for its News Feed Thursday, saying it was inspired largely by the mobile app experience.

The world's biggest social networking company unveiled the changes during an event at its Menlo Park, Calif., headquarters. They said the changes will begin to slowly roll out to some users immediately, but also posted a link for a waiting list.

Chris Cox spoke about making the network's experience consistent across all of the devices users access Facebook's content. The new layout, he said, draws experience from the forced simplification of smaller screens.

"One of the cool tools we had while developing this was actually taking the mobile designs we've been working on and porting them over," Cox said. "A lot of what you're seeing here is a very mobile-inspired web design."

The app-inspired design is visible in the sliding menus demonstrated by Chris Strutar who presented about new categorizations available for the news feed.

"We heard from people that they wanted more choice and more control over the stories they saw on their home page," Strutar said during the presentation.

He showed identical menus that will be available on the side of the Facebook News Feed in a web browser or at the top of the mobile app. They'll allow content to be broken down into categories that would display only posts from friends or posts that include photos.

Strutar also mentioned a music category that would seem to offer business opportunities to Facebook.

"We've revamped the music feed to show what my favorite musicians are posting as well as what my friends are listening too. And we'll also show concerts that are happening around me or albums that have been released recently," he said.

Overall, the presentation showed the redesigned news feed seemed to put big images at the center of the experience. The size of the sidebars also appeared to be reduced, a move the network said was designed to reduce clutter.

"The story we're trying to adhere to here is really about getting Facebook out of the way as much as possible, and on the web that meant trying to push the content to the front of the experience and trying to pull back the chrome around it as much as possible," Cox said.

Sign up for the waiting list for the new design here: https://www.facebook.com/about/newsfeed