Spend most of your time watching videos of cucumber-phobic cats, dancing cockatoos and scooter-riding dogs? Wish you could find more stories about heart-warming puppy rescues, kitties that wanna hug, or unlikely animal friends – the lion, tiger and bear? Forget lunch pics and gym vids… Crazy cat ladies, animal fanatics, pet owners (and, anyone in a boring job), your wish has been granted via the brand new Facebook News Feed.
Facebook has rolled out a new functionality, possibly the biggest (and coolest) change to the News Feed so far, and lucky for us the testing starts in Australia first. This new update splits the News Feed into categories so you can choose to view stories on certain topics. For example: Sports, Music, Thoughts, Food, Travel, Politics… pffft, never mind any of those. Because there is a whole News Feed for ANIMALS and PETS! *insert excited cat emoji*
Not only that, you can add your own niche News Feed categories if you want to get even more specific. Under Animals and Pets, it will ask for your favourites. Die-hard vegans, you can add ‘Animal Rights’… Veterinarians, you might want to add ‘Animal News’ or ‘Animal Facts’… or, just need some cheering up? Add ‘Funny Animals’. Facebook will then start filling it with content for you using a mixture of posts from Pages you have liked, friend’s posts, as well as content sourced from public posts elsewhere.
Find these new topic options along the top (on iPhone, computer), along the bottom (on android). Just swipe left to scroll through them. All of the existing topic options are turned on by default but you can choose to delete them… All the more space for cats! In an interesting move, the new Facebook News Feed feature also suggests friends who users may not know, but that share content they like. You can also easily switch back to the standard News Feed (but why would you!).
It does appear Facebook are trying to change into more of a news-reader type model but they have not yet confirmed a reason for this change or whether it will be permanently implemented. There are many benefits to this topic-based change. It allows users to source all of their news from Facebook (instead of Google, Apple News or Twitter), encourages users to share more, and makes it easier to find stories users are really interested in, giving the ability to completely customise News Feeds.
Or maybe Facebook just really understand our love of Cats Wearing Tights. Whatever the reason we thank them.