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After the introduction of the subscribe button and smart lists, Facebook has now unveiled a bundle of additional changes and new features comprising a revamped news feed that does away with the two-tabbed interface which has been into existence for two years now and a ticker, which is a stream of real-time updates in the right sidebar. These started rolling out since less than 48 hours before Facebook’s f8 developer conference in San Francisco and then in a keynote address at the event, CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed the social giant's ambitious next steps - Facebook Timeline and more social apps, that have already started to roll out gradually. Read on to know what changes are in store for Facebook’s 800 million users.
Revamped News Feed
Instead of asking users to choose between “Top Stories” and “Most Recent” ones, the new News Feed adjusts content based on the last time the user checked it. For instance, users who rarely log in, see top stories denoted with a small blue triangle in the corner, clicking on which allows you to manually mark a story as not important or important, while more frequent users see recent content in chronological order.
Facebook’s also changed the way photos are displayed in the News Feed, making their thumbnails larger and more prominent.
The most significant change in the updated news feed concept is the addition of a news ticker on the top-right side of the page beside the news feed, above the chat column. The ticker streams real-time updates of what your friends are doing. On clicking a story in the ticker, that item is toggled sideways to show the relevant details in a pop up, so the user does not have to leave the page in order to interact with the update.
Timeline is the completely overhauled and re-designed version of Facebook’s user profiles which according to Zuckerberg, will depict the story of one’s life in a wider interface where in everything you’ve done on Facebook is algorithmically organized - from photos, change in relationship status to check-ins, also allowing users to fill out a “Way Back” section to add details that are omitted or pre-date the social network. Facebook expects to roll out Timeline gradually over the next few weeks.
The new Facebook also includes a deeper integration of apps into the social framework of the site, so that members can use third-party applications of their interest and have its activity published for others to see, such as you can see what your friends have read across Yahoo! News, as well as view a history of what you've read. Then users can see what their friends are listening to on Spotify, Earbits, iHeartRadio, Radio, MOG and a bunch of other music and radio streaming services via the Ticker. Beyond music and news, Facebook has partnered with Netflix and video streaming site Hulu to weave the streaming video service into itself as to let you know what your friends are watching.