In addition to recent Friend Lists improvements and the new Subscribe button, Facebook today announced more changes "to help you see more of what you care about and less of what you don't." As has been expected for a while now, the company has once again updated its News Feed and has begun rolling out the Ticker to all of its 750 million active users.
If you want a quick overview, check out the Facebook video I've embedded above (side note: it has the fixed navigation bar that some users have been seeing). If you want more information about the changes, read on.
First of all, the News Feed will no longer show updates in just chronological order, like it has in the past. If you haven't visited Facebook in a week, your News Feed will feature a summary of top stories (more important photos and statuses posted while you've been away, marked with a blue corner). If you've already visited several times that day, your News Feed will feature more recent stories, and photos will take up more space while you're scrolling through. In short, Facebook is merging the Most Recent and Top Stories into a single feed.
Secondly, we have the Ticker. While the News Feed has a time lag, the Ticker is meant to be a real-time version that lets you chat with your friends about photos, articles, and other things they're posting while you're all using Facebook. When a friend comments, asks a question, or shares something like a check-in, you'll be able to join the conversation right away. All you have to do is click on a story you see going by in the Ticker, and it will appear in Recent Stories on the middle of the page so you can interact with it.
The Ticker is in the top right-hand of Facebook. Those with wide monitors screen can slide the grey bar between the Ticker and Facebook chat up or down to adjust how many updates you see at a time.
We first heard rumors about the Ticker almost two months ago. When it started showing up for some users, I described it as a second, real-time and unfiltered News Feed that shows you all the new status updates, Likes, comments, photos, and so on that your Facebook friends are posting, as they're posting them.
I originally thought the Ticker was a bit too much. Now that Facebook has finally started pushing it out to everyone, I guess I have to reserve further judgment and actually use it for a while before I can declare it useful or useless.
- Facebook allowing ads into the Ticker, its second News Feed
- Facebook rolls out the Ticker to more users
- Facebook moves privacy controls inline, simplifies sharing
- Facebook working on unfiltered News Feed, expanded Like button
- Facebook testing homepage with separate News Feed scrolling