New Facebook layout starts rolling out: What's new

Facebook, nearly 16 months after its last redesign, has a revamped news feed -- including two key features you need to know about.
Written by Zack Whittaker, Contributor on

Further to initial testing of the new Facebook layout, it seems the new layout is appearing on more and more screens.

Facebook has not seen a redesign to its News Feed area in over 16 months, it is understood and clear to see that advertising space -- through sponsored stories and adverts -- will regain prominent focus for Facebook users, in a bid to boost overall revenue.

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Though the basic layout has changed slightly, Facebook keeps much of the same content. However, many will discover duplicates for now -- one can presume until further tweaks are made to boost reported click-through rates for 'unfiltered content'.

There are two key changes you need to be aware of -- before you see the new layout, panic, and take to the groups to complain:

Highlighting: Facebook's new highlighting feature is not yet clear, but shows some interesting functionality.

In short, you can hover over a status or an update and select the: "This is a highlight" option. While I suspect this is for a later feature, yet to be fully developed or rolled out, it temporarily 'sticks' that status or update to your news feed.

It could be used to highlight favourite statuses, updates and 'likes' later on, in a retrospective look back at your time on the site -- similar to that of Facebook Memories, which has yet to see the light of day.

Ticker: The fixed ticker on the right hand side of the screen displays all of your social networks' updates, from friends' statuses, along with updates from your pages and applications. This, in effect, is your unfiltered news feed.

Unlimited in length, it constantly updates you on the going's on of your friends -- taking on the permissions you set when you decide to hide a friend or a particular update still.

It is, in effect, an expanded view of the newly released Facebook game ticker, which was rolled out to counter the Google+ offensive.

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