Facebook has decided to revamp its design, making its website look more like its Android and iOS mobile apps.
The refresh also introduces topic-specific alternatives to its news feed.
One consequence of the change is that adverts can take up more screen space, making them harder to ignore.
However, the project’s lead engineer denied ads were the redesign’s focus. He also played down suggestions that the move was intended to make people spend more time on the site.
Chris Struhar instead suggested his focus had been on stripping back the amount of information being shown on the news feed to make each post more “engaging”.
“One of the consistent themes we heard in feedback from people was that it felt cluttered and that there was lot happening on the page,” Chris Struhar said ahead of the official announcement.
“We wanted to clean up the page, declutter it, make it simpler, more modern and easier for people to use.
“I often compare this to a 1960s television with wood panelling, knobs around it and a tiny postage stamp-sized screen – and what we’re trying to do is take that same TV and translate it into a 40in HD experience.”
Facebook reported in January that 1.06 billion people were using its service at least once a month.
It also revealed that its profit for the last three months of 2012 was 79% down on the same period the previous year despite a rise in sales because of increased spending on research and development.
There are three key changes being made to Facebook:
The website switches from a three-column format to two-columns letting the main news feed take up more space. This allows all posts – whether they are friends’ updates or adverts – to take up a bigger proportion of the web browser with more prominence given to images and video rather than text describing a link.
A pop-out black bar is added to the left-hand side of the page. This contains app bookmarks, links to specific friends, the chat and calendar tools, and the live updates ticker.
In addition to the standard news feed, users can select other alternative feeds. These include one which shows all the updates posted by friends rather than just the ones selected by Facebook’s algorithms; one dedicated to organizations and people the user “follows”; a page featuring only posted photos; and a music-themed feed containing updates from artists the user likes, concert announcements and details of songs their friends are listening to through services including Spotify and Rdio.
It is also noteworthy that the firm has now dropped its “facebook” logo which spelt out its full name, and replaced it with an “f” icon. This change had already been experienced by the selected group of users given early access to its Graph Search facility.
Facebook has decided to revamp its design, making its website look more like its Android and iOS mobile apps
Another tweak involves auto-generating maps to accompany posts about specific locations. This may encourage more members to use the mobile app’s GPS-powered check-in function which competes with Foursquare.
Investors and marketers will be keen to find out whether the alterations make users more likely to read and interact with paid content.
Facebook already knows that engagement with ads in its main news feed is greater than with those that appear on the right-hand side of its web browser. This column of adverts is absent from its mobile apps altogether.
Enlarging the news feed now allows a sponsored post to become by far the biggest element on the screen, taking up roughly a third of the page when viewed on a 13 in (33 cm) laptop display.
Another business-friendly change is that if a user “likes” an organization a horizontal banner photo is added to posts reporting the news in addition to the brand’s logo, making the update more eye-catching.
Chris Struhar acknowledged that sponsored posts from “liked” brands had become bigger, but added that it was not his intention to make users more likely to click them.
“This redesign doesn’t change anything about how people interact with ads on Facebook,” he said.
“We aren’t changing where adverts show up or what ads you see. We’re just trying to take all the content that you do see and make that bigger and more immersive and more engaging.”
Chris Struhar added that further amendments might be made once users had had a chance to provide feedback.
Women are ironing out wrinkles and rejuvenating their skin with injections of their own blood.
The procedure – dubbed the “vampire facelift” – involves taking a blood sample from the patient’s arm and putting it through a machine which separates out the platelets.
These are tiny fragments of cells which circulate in the blood and are filled with hormones and proteins.
They are responsible for making the blood clot when we get a cut or bruise. But also at high concentrations they are thought to stimulate the skin to repair itself. These platelets are then injected into the face.
Women are ironing out wrinkles and rejuvenating their skin with injections of their own blood
The procedure has had impressive results in America and is now being offered by clinics in the UK.
Taimur Shoaib, a consultant plastic surgeon who offers the treatment in three £400 ($625) sessions at his clinic La Belle Forme in Edinburgh, has performed the procedure on several hundred men and women since launching it earlier this year.
He said: “It can rejuvenate and repair skin that has environmental damage. It’s good for skin that has been damaged by the sun or smoking and that is dry and damaged and wrinkled. This appeals to people because it’s a natural product.”
At Bassim Matti’s clinic in Harley Street, 28 patients have had the treatment paying £1,500 ($2,350) for a series of injections covering the face.
Reza Nassab, a registrar in plastic surgery at the clinic, said after six months 60% of the patients were still very satisfied with the results.
He said 40% did not see much of an effect, but staff were hoping to improve the results by changing the concentration of the platelets.
Reza Nassab said: “This treatment is called PRP or platelet rich plasma, but people call it the Vampire facelift. The platelets have growth factors within them. When they are injected into the face, the growth factors are thought to stimulate collagen and other things which help to rejuvenate and regenerate the skin.”
Platelet transfusions have long been used in reconstructive surgery, but this is their first use as a cosmetic treatment.
In experiments on rats injected with platelets, scientists found high concentrations increased the number of collagen fibres in their skin and improved skin quality.
Reza Nassab, who presented the results at the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons scientific meeting in London, said he believed it worked the same way in humans.
He said: “It’s using your own blood, a technique which has been used in medicine for a long time, to give your skin a boost.”
New reports are claiming that Whitney Houston visited a doctor three times in the eight day period before she was found dead in a bath tub at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
According to Star magazine and Radar claim that Whitney Houston, who passed away aged 48, saw a Beverly Hills doctor on February 2, 7 and 8.
This was a day before Whitney Houston was photographed in public for the last time, looking sweaty and disheveled as she emerged from a Hollywood night club.
Whitney Houston then made a visit to a Beverly Hills medical building on February 10, about 48 hours before her death.
The visit, to a throat doctor, was witnessed by X Factor winner Melanie Amaro, who bumped into the idol.
“I was at the doctor’s office and she was there,” Melanie Amaro told CNN last week.
“I had a chance to meet her and talk to her.”
It’s not known if it was the same physician or whether any drugs were prescribed at each of the appointments, if anything.
Whitney Houston was found dead in a bath tub at the Beverly Hilton Hotel
It has already been reported by Radar that the Los Angeles County coroner’s office has issued subpoenas for medical and pharmacy records from Whitney Houston’s doctors and medical providers.
Los Angeles County assistant chief coroner Ed Winter said that Whitney Houston’s medical records could shed additional light on why she died and whether she had any serious medical conditions.
“We’ve already contacted a number of doctors with requests for records,” Ed Winter told Radar yesterday.
“I know there are reports that she maybe was drowned or did she overdose, but we won’t make a final determination until all the tests are in.”
It is also being reported today that Whitney Houston failed a routine medical check two weeks before she was found dead.
Star Magazine are alleging that Whitney Houston had sought a facelift to be performed by a Beverly Hills surgeon.
But Dr. Marc Mani, a board certified plastic surgeon, is alleged to have refused to perform the procedure on Whitney Houston after she didn’t pass the medical clearance exam that tests a patient’s heart, lung and liver, according to a source.
“She was concerned about her appearance and wanted a facelift,” the insider said.
Dr. Marc Mani refused to confirm to Radar Online whether Whitney Houston had attended his clinic, citing federal medical privacy laws.
Radar Online claims that preliminary results have revealed sedatives were found in Whitney Houston’s system.
Speculation has grown over Whitney Houston’s cause of death, which has yet to be determined pending the outcome of toxicology tests that could take up to six weeks.