Facebook made significant changes to how it delivers your friends' news and updates today by releasing a ticker feature and a news feed format that arranges missed updates in a newspaper-style format.
The move is an improvement in relevancy of information feeds in social profiles and it demonstrates an intelligent system for delivering information and encouraging interaction on the world's largest social network.
Facebook released two formats for receiving updates while on the social network. This was at a time when the release of other key features was beginning to create information overload.
One format is an updates ticker that allows for joining real-time conversations based on customized selection options. The other is a news aggregator, which functions as a newspaper, to keep users informed of the most important events and posts they have missed while they have been away.
The ticker is the most simple and straightforward feature. It makes it very easy for you to select whom you want to receive news from, and how often you want to hear from them.
When those people post updates - and they are selected as someone you want to hear from more frequently - you will immediately be alerted to join the conversation. Less relevant people will not signal as often or immediately.
It's kind of like being able to predict frequency and then assign a value to the number of times your annoying Aunt Betty calls you to tell you again about the neighbor's cats. In this way, you are judging just how close you want to be to Aunt Betty - and her cats - regardless of how close Aunt Betty wants to be to you. It's a subtle move by the engineers at Facebook.
Facebook is also changing its news feed, moving away from the rather clumsy "Most Recent" and "Top News" tags.
Facebook has made it so that if you are one of those people who spends a few weeks away from Facebook at a time, the next time you log on, you will see all the most important things you missed while you were away, arranged like it was a magazine or newspaper, with big pictures and easy to navigate buttons.
The rollouts today bring some solutions that calm the information storm fired up after the company rolled out Subscriptions recently.
Once it became possible to follow anyone (if they enabled the feature), the noise to signal ratio went haywire. Suddenly, it was Aunt Betty updates to the nth power. With this new feature, I can pretty much customize my feed so that everything makes sense, and I am not overwhelmed by noise.
Finally, it appears that a social network with over 750 million users has finally figured out how to act socially.
Image via Facebook.