Seven years after launching, Facebook’s News Feed is finally getting a makeover. The social network announced a slew of changes that will begin rolling out today.

The updated News Feed features three main components that marketers will appreciate: richer visual, multiple feeds, and mobile consistency. Photos are a huge part of what makes Facebook engaging. In fact, images now make up 50 percent of News feed content (and content from Pages makes up almost 30 percent). Starting today, photos will become even more prominent.

Articles shared by friends will feature larger preview images and a more prominent title and summary. Activity stories, such as someone Liking your Page, will now include your cover photo, profile picture, and thumbnail images of friends who have also Liked your Page. Check-ins will feature maps and a description enabling people to dive in and explore a location further. These types of enhancements are especially beneficial to brands as they’ll help make activity stories more enticing so people don’t miss them.

Additionally, updates from third-party apps will be hard to ignore. For example, Pinterest posts to Facebook are now more vivid, so what you see on the social network “better reflects what you see on Pinterest.” Whether you’re creating awareness around your app or hoping fans highlight your products, a richer visual experience will help. The changes will affect all third-party apps, whether text, videos, or photos are being shared.

As expected, Facebook also introduced multiple topic-based feeds.  Members can now choose between All Friends, Music, Photos, Following (a revamp of the Pages feed that shows every post made by the brands and businesses people Like), Games, Close Friends, and any Interest or Friends Lists. Businesses will likely be most interested in Music, Photos, Following, Interests. Ads targeted to a specific interest or category now have a better chance of being seen since you’re not competing with activity stories, friends updates, and so on.

And finally, Facebook designed the News Feed so viewers will have a consistent experience across all platforms — desktop, mobile, and tablets. For developers, this should help make your life a bit easier. We should also note that the feed itself will be more responsive to the size of the browser’s view port so important content will be viewable at all times.

Although the new design is starting to roll out today — mobile will begin in a couple of weeks — it will do so slowly as Facebook collects feedback. You can join the waiting list for the updated News Feed if you want to be alerted of its availability.

[Image credit: Facebook]