In addition to recently adding the Subscribe button and the new Friend List options, Facebook is introducing even more new options and updates. Late Tuesday afternoon, Facebook revealed an updated News Feed with new features and presented the brand new real-time Ticker.
The News Feed, which will no longer simply show updates in chronological order, is combining the Most Recent and the Top Stories into one feed. Now, when a Facebook user logs in, the News Feed will provide that person with a summary of the top stories since they last visited the News Feed. To make the Top Stories easy to identify, Facebook marks them with a blue corner. For users that log in frequently, Facebook will display more recent stories and photos will occupy more of that user’s feed.
In addition to updating the News Feed, Facebook has released a real-time update feature named the Ticker. The Ticker, which appears in the upper right-hand of Facebook, instantly shows users what their friends are doing in real-time. While the News Feed has a slight delay, the Ticker is capable of real-time updates, which allow friends to see those updates and chat in real-time. To join the conversation in real-time, a Facebook user will simply click a story in the Ticker as it slides by. After it is clicked, the story from the Ticker will appear in the Recent Stories section in the center of the screen, allowing easy interaction from the user.
With the number of updates that Facebook has recently released, many people have been speculating that these new features were influenced by Google+. However, when Keith Schacht, Facebook’s product manager, was asked if the new features were because of or influenced by Google+, he responded:
“As Mark Zuckerberg put it, this is launching season. This is an update we have been working on a long time, unrelated to anything else.”
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