Facebook recently began testing a new homepage design that allows the News Feed to be scrolled separately from the rest of the page. This allows ads, app bookmarks, and the top navigation bar to remain visible regardless of what part of the News Feed you are looking at. Currently, once you scroll down past about six News Feed stories, you cannot see ads, bookmarks, nor the navigation bar.
The Facebook homepage hasn't seen a major redesign in 16 months, which is very long given how quickly and often the company tends to change it. This proposed change to the News Feed would not change much visually but would be more so aimed at the site's functionality. The new design could theoretically increase click through rates for advertisers, improve user retention for applications, and save you the hassle of scrolling back to the top of the page, according to Inside Facebook.
In addition to (hopefully) improved navigation, an independently scrollable News Feed could have an impact on Facebook's revenue. Since ads would receive much more time in front of users per impression, this could increase click-through rates, boosting the value of Facebook ads in general and possibly raising average bid prices. Developers would also benefit, as their bookmarks in the left sidebar would be visible to users for longer, encouraging more visits to games and apps.
Although I tend to hate websites that act like this, I admit I do see the benefits of a News Feed that can be scrolled separately. Still, I will reserve further judgment until I can get my hands on the new design.