Facebook is looking into expanding the amount of information users see in their News Feed, in the hopes of helping third-party developers and marketers stand out more. Currently, the News Feed is filtered by the social network, but the company may soon change that, according to people familiar with the matter cited by The Wall Street Journal.
Facebook's algorithms don't display every piece of content that is shared, limiting the impact of the various advertising campaigns launched on the website. Facebook engineers are reportedly working to create an unfiltered News Feed that would show everything your friends are doing on the social network: from what games and apps they are using on the site to what Pages of companies and products they Like.
Speaking of the Like button, Facebook is also working on expanding the functionality to include other gestures that marketers and third-party developers can create. Consumers could share information about the products they want to buy or the places they want to go, giving Facebook even more data about its 750 million active users.
"We are currently testing a feature within News Feed that gives people the ability to see what their friends are commenting on and 'liking,' as these actions are being taken on Facebook," a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. "This test includes a small percentage of Facebook users, just a fraction of a percent. In the coming weeks, as we learn more from this test, we'll keep making improvements and may expand it to more people."
Facebook is expected to announce the updates at its The Facebook f8 (pronounced "fate") conference for developers, a yearly event that takes place in San Francisco, California. The 2011 edition of f8 still doesn't have a date (last year's was held in April).
The company has been trialing various tweaks to the News Feed in recent months with small subsets of its userbase. Less than two months ago, Facebook was testing a homepage with a separately-scrolling News Feed.