Because the “real time web” can be overwhelmingly active and noisy, Facebook has decided to simplify the newsfeed with a new “Best Of” feed that summarizes the “most interesting” activity from your network’s last twenty-four hours. Billed as the “News Feed”, there is also an opportunity to then toggle to the “Live Feed”, which is the real-time, chronological version of your stream. According to Facebook, they differ by:
When you log into Facebook, you’ll see the most interesting things that happened in the last day in the “News Feed” view. News Feed picks stories that we think you’ll enjoy based on a variety of factors including how many friends have liked and commented on it and how likely you are to interact with that story.
Once you’ve caught up on what you missed, you can click through to “Live Feed” to see what’s happening right now. As long as you remain logged into Facebook, you’ll continue to see posts and activity from your friends in real-time. You can edit what appears in this view by clicking “Edit Options” at the bottom of the home page.
This is very clearly a move towards filtering and representing activity / relevancy… which is challenging because:
1. the real-time web is, by definition, chronological, thus creating an interesting user-experience challenge / opportunity
2. defining “what is most interesting” is also challenging. Facebook has many data points: comments, likes, shares, etc… all of which will mature / improve over time
It will be interesting to note the ongoing value of being within the “News Feed” versus the “Live Feed” and what it means for the engagement, readership and so on of a piece of content. If dramatically higher (as I would expect), this will change marketing behaviors and potentially force page owners to focus to particular posts within a day (as opposed to numerous).
Facebook of course made this announcement through their Facebook Page: