Facebook to announce new look for News Feed

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(CNN) — Facebook is rolling out a fresh design for its central page, the News Feed, at an event Thursday.

The main column that cuts down the center of the Facebook home page currently shows a hodgepodge of updates, photos, links and likes from friends, companies, organizations and any other pages you follow. The feed is the heart of Facebook, where many members spend the majority of their time reading, liking and clicking.

The invitation from Facebook for Thursday’s 1 p.m. ET event is vague, simply beckoning, “Come see a new look for News Feed.” But there have been some clues about what that new look might entail.

Josh Constine at TechCrunch reports that the main news feed will be broken into categories, with content such as music information and photos (including Instagram shots) separated off into dedicated feeds.

In January, CEO Mark Zuckerberg described the News Feed as one of the three pillars of Facebook, along with Timeline and the new Graph Search feature, which is still in beta. The largely ad-supported free service likely will update ads and other graphics elements.

Facebook users don’t always take well to change. Much of the venom is reserved for policy changes, such as confusing updates to privacy settings, but the tweaks to the physical look of the site also generate a lot of feedback.

When Facebook rolled out its Timeline feature in 2011, some members balked at the radically different look and even started petitions asking that the new profile pages be made optional. In 2008, the company debuted a major redesign dubbed the “new Facebook,” and in 2009 overhauled users’ homepages.

People were vocal about their issues with those updates, but eventually things quieted down and Facebook went on its merry way, eventually growing its worldwide user base to more than 1 billion profiles.

We’ll report live on the updates from Facebook headquarters Thursday. Until then, we’d love to hear what you’d like to see changed in your News Feed, or what beloved features you don’t want touched. Here are a few suggestions from @CNNTech’s Twitter followers:

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