The world’s largest online social network just released massive changes yesterday. Facebook is expected to announce even more changes at the annual f8 conference in San Francisco today.
So what’s new with Facebook? Here is the scoop:
- The most recognizable changes are on the right side and in the center of the screen: Top Stories and Real-time Updates.
- Top Stories now combine all updates and appear on the top of user pages. If you haven’t visited Facebook for a while, you’ll see top posts and updates posted while you’ve been away.
- Top Stories are stories that Facebook considers “interesting or relevant” to you. Facebook determines whether something is a top story based on multiple factors: your relationship to the person who made the post, number of “Likes” and comments, the type of story, etc. Top stories are marked with a blue corner.
- Over time Facebook can now learn your preferences when it comes to Top Stories. So if you see something that isn’t interesting under Top Stories, you can hover over the right side of the update in question, click the down arrow and choose ‘Unmark as top story’.
- Event reminders such as friends’ birthdays a friend requests are now under a ticker-like function designed to give a real-time feel more like Twitter.
- Photo posts now show much larger photographs and multiple image posts now show up differently with a single photograph standing out larger than the rest.
- Grouping of friends into categories, similar to circles in Google+. Facebook now automatically groups your high school friends into one list, and work colleagues into another, for example. You can user these groups as filters in the News Feed.
- Facebook has also launched a new “Subscribe” button that allows you to follow public updates of other, regardless of whether you are friends on Facebook. This button is now available on users’ profiles next to “Message” and “Poke”.
Facebook says the changes are designed to keep their users better updated in real time. “Our goal with these improvements is to make it easier for people to keep up with their friends no matter how frequently or infrequently they visit Facebook – and to make sure they never miss important updates,” says Facebook spokesman Jonathan Thaw.
What do you think of the new changes? Please share your experience with us in the comments below!