Facebook testing homepage with separate News Feed scrolling

Facebook testing homepage with separate News Feed scrolling

Summary: Would you want Facebook to implement a News Feed that scrolls separately from the rest of the homepage?

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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.

Topic: Social Enterprise

Emil Protalinski

About Emil Protalinski

Emil is a freelance journalist writing for CNET and ZDNet. Over the years,
he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars
Technica, Neowin, and TechSpot.

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Talkback

18 comments
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  • RE: Facebook testing homepage with separate News Feed scrolling

    "Facebook recently began testing a new homepage design that allows the News Feed to be scrolled separately from the rest of the page."

    I can see some people hating it and some people loving it.

    At least for once they're working on some tech rather than screwing up the whole UI and/or everybody's privacy.

    Although the UI is still screwy and privacy is still broken.
    CobraA1
    • RE: Facebook testing homepage with separate News Feed scrolling

      @CobraA1 Most of us totally dislike this & yes it is an invasion of our privacy so they need to change it back!
      CdnGal52
  • no No NO

    dont mess with facebook any more please - it has too many changes too often
    cymru999
  • RE: Facebook testing homepage with separate News Feed scrolling

    It's on my homepage and I despise it... it's needlessly repetitive and has slowed page load times.
    athynz
  • RE: Facebook testing homepage with separate News Feed scrolling

    I have it on my account... What I don't get is why we have a second "random" newsfeed on the right hand side above where the ads are. It's completely useless and has rid of the other useful features that used to be there.
    zc473451
  • RE: Facebook testing homepage with separate News Feed scrolling

    I guess I'm one of the "lucky" ones that got the test.
    I don't particularly care for it, as my birthday and other notifications aren't easily visible anymore, unless I've missed something. I also don't like that people can see what I'm doing around FB even if they aren't friends with them. I know it's Facebook, and just by having an account you give up some privacy, but I really don't particularly care for my kids seeing every dang thing I do LOL
    MissiJL
  • RE: Facebook testing homepage with separate News Feed scrolling

    I dont like it at all. Please get rid of it and give me my old facebook back. Perhaps this is their way of getting some of us to leave facebook. Well, it's working.
    CW4Mitchell@...
    • RE: Facebook testing homepage with separate News Feed scrolling

      @CW4Mitchell@... or maybe they would like some law suits because everyone that I know with it is very annoyed with their privacy being invaded! Not to mention it's so darn annoying as well.
      CdnGal52
  • RE: Facebook testing homepage with separate News Feed scrolling

    Why do you hate sites like that?

    I like sites where the navigation doesn't disappear up and away when you scroll.

    As long as they make sure it works for small screens too.
    MatsSvensson
    • RE: Facebook testing homepage with separate News Feed scrolling

      @MatsSvensson It does not.

      http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v297/Spiked_n_Bloody/fbookedit.jpg

      This is my unscrollable view of Facebook on a netbook.
      gabis2r
  • DeniseDir

    I really dislike this test! I want my old FB back! I feel like I'm missing out on the people I care about. FB is supposed to keep you connected and I have never felt so disconnected!!
    dangerdede22
  • Social Disconnect

    I am one of the few that this is already being tested out on and it is redundant, and I hate it. I miss the option to view "most recent" in my news feed, and also the drop down list to be able to select my custom feed lists. Those options were completely removed from my page a couple weeks ago to make room for this new second feed. Plus on my main feed posts from several hours ago are above posts from seconds ago. I feel completely disconnected from my friends and family, even though these changes are somehow supposed to help me be more in touch with what's going on. Since not everyone already had their page changed, pretty much no one knows what I'm talking or complaining about, because it hasn't happened to them yet. I hate the changes, so much so that I'm not sure how much longer I'll even use FB anymore, since it's not doing anything to make me feel connected to anyone or anything going on. If social disconnect is what they're aiming for, they have achieved it. :o(

    EDIT: As of yesterday, the problems I had reported to FB for a couple of weeks in regards to my missing feed options, and problems with the feed on my iPhone app, have finally been fixed. I'm happy to be feeling reconnected with my friends and family again, even though I still do not quite understand the point of the redundant side-feed.
    vegaskait
  • RE: Facebook testing homepage with separate News Feed scrolling

    Everyone complains on here, and your doing nothing. Nor will your words have any power to changed what Facebook does.
    markh789
  • RE: Facebook testing homepage with separate News Feed scrolling

    HATE IT! Very distracting when reading status updates and this thing keeps scrolling!
    Astackedhouse
  • RE: Facebook testing homepage with separate News Feed scrolling

    If you call this:
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v297/Spiked_n_Bloody/fbookedit.jpg
    Increased functionality.

    Yes, I'm on a netbook, but you can see how seriously the new Happening Now newsfeed affects my ability to 'network'.

    Only the middle column can be scrolled and it doesn't let you chose between 'Top News' and 'Most Recent'. Top News is at the top, with posts sometimes a day old and unmoving, with Most Recent beneath, after you scroll almost a full page. It is very difficult to find and by which point I've read some, out of sync, in top news and no longer care. Even when you do find it, you have to refresh the page and find it again for new updates.

    The 'Happening now' bar on the right is not scrollable, but constantly scrolls by itself with inane updates such as someone liking a page. Then another when they like another page. You can have a bar full of one person liking pages. It's pointless and annoying. The bigger issue is privacy. If a friend of mine comments on her aunt's photo, I get alerted whether I'm interested or not. And here's the thing. My friend's aunt set that photo to be visible to friends only, but while that notification is sat in my scrolling bar, I can see her photo. Protect your kiddies, guys, who knows who's looking?

    The left column is not scrollable and as you can see from the photo, I have no apps visible, no groups, no birthdays, no events, nothing. It makes navigating Facebook an absolute nightmare.

    Between getting some updates three times on this newsfeed and missing the majority completely, losing my apps and being forced to see people commenting on strangers updates I am sick to death of hearing myself complain to Facebook.

    This is not an improvement. I've migrated to Google+ along with many others who've had this test forced on them without being asked, given the opportunity to give feedback, or having their concerns (such as the incompatibility with a netbook) listened to.

    Facebook has rendered itself useless with this new feed.
    gabis2r
  • RE: Facebook testing homepage with separate News Feed scrolling

    It's redundant, is poorly organized, no way to disable the "real time" feed. If you have someone on your friend's list who is chained to facebook and hits like buttons or makes constant posts, it's irritating to see tons of their comments scrolling along as well-doesn't matter if you "hide all comments" by so-and-so or not, the news feed to the right haphazardly either hides them, more often they still filter through.

    I do not like this despite what your article says in support of this.
    mkkb52
  • RE: Facebook testing homepage with separate News Feed scrolling

    My issue with it is the invasion of privacy. I can now see what everyone of my friends are doing on every other page/post/status update/picture, etc. across Facebook. I can then click to view the original content, thus further increasing the privacy invasion by allowing me to view the content of people I'm not even friends with on FB. There needs to be a privacy setting to turn this off so that every one of my friends can not see every one of my interactions on FB.
    anaisamy
  • RE: Facebook testing homepage with separate News Feed scrolling

    i woke up to this mess on my fb home. i absolutely HATE it. i agree with zc473451, the whole right side top news feed is useless. my birthdate notices are barely visible and i cant even see any events. i prefered it the way it was. it wouldnt be so bad if i could switch it with the main news feed and/or minimize it. regardless, i dont care for it. i dont understand why its necessary for these corporations to constantly change things. we consumers get used to a product and get comfortable and familiar with it. we dont like the change! i get it, grab new eyes with busier lables and items, but give the ones already with you the option of opting out of the new and "revamped" things... geez. well, im taking a hiatus from fb until my account is reverted back to its original state, if not then i will be deleting my account... no point in settling for something i dont care for.... thank you, that is all.
    sunny209