They have been telling us to watch for it, and today it finally launches. Well, for some users anyway. Facebook rolled out their new homepage today for some (it should be there for everyone soon), and the features may look rather familiar to you if you use Twitter.
Rather Twitter-esque…the big change in the Facebook homepage is their real-time updates and their new way of doing newsfeeds. The thing is, the real-time update doesn’t so far seem to be operating in exact real time. It takes some refreshing. The stream of updates obviously only displays for a short period of time as well, so they put a new “Highlights” sidebar on your page, where you can see some of the older stuff it deems interesting to you.
What’s nice is they’ve updated how you can sort your feeds. You can do it by any of your different Facebook networks that you belong to, like college or hometown, or even by custom feeds or third-party apps. On your homepage, there is a list of all your networks for you to choose from. You just click on what you want, and receive the feed from the people within that network.
They also got rid of the old “What are you doing right now”, and changed it to the more thought provoking “What’s on your mind?” This is again rather Twitter-esque. This feature is in the new Publisher section of the Homepage. Much more open-ended than the “right now” response.
And of course there are ads. With the new ways of doing feeds, Facebook wants to have new ways of bringing us ads. It does it with both its own applications as well as third party apps. There is automated sorting and firmer restrictions in those feeds which allow Facebook to serve up a higher percent of ads in there, in positions it chooses.
The “Highlights” part of the page is a lot more streamlined with less space between items than before. Facebook says the ad item in this section will appear and rotate based on things like how many of your friends are interacting with that thing. You are still able to bookmark your favorite apps, just that part is moved to the bottom on the menu bar.
If you haven’t see the changes on your page yet, just be patient—it should be hitting soon.