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Facebook, it seems, is determined to maintain its position as the number one social network. Keeping this in mind, they are set to make some drastic changes to their format soon.

All industry analysts knew that Facebook would announce something big  during the f8 conference held today in San Francisco. They also knew that many of these changes would be reacting to the growing popularity of Google Plus. What exactly these announcements have now been revealed.

In the last few days, Facebook already introduced some changes, such as the new subscribe button, revamped Friend Lists, a new News Feed format and a real-time news ticker. As usual, the new design has been met with resistance from a number of users.

However, these changes are minor in contrast to what has now been announced.

Most significant of all, is the change to the News Feed, which is now split into “Top Stories”, “Recent Stories” and a “Ticker”. Profiles are also evolving and turning into Timelines, or what Zuckerberg calls “the story of your life”.

An introduction to Timeline

Facebook Timeline with cover, stories and apps sections

When a user shares a post normally, it goes into their news feed. When that user adds activity on third party websites or apps through the Facebook Open Graph, it will go into Ticker, and into Timeline, but not into the news feed normally. The Open Graph and Ticker make a stream of everything users are experiencing and expressing through Facebook.

This is the first time the social network has enabled sharing “lightweight” activities, such as listening to a song, watching a movie, reading a book, or even cooking a meal.

Facebook news ticker expands stories when moused-over

Developers will be elated at the attention once again being given to apps, especially via the Ticker as well as in a dedicated section of the Timeline.

Google+ recently announced updates to improve their popularity. The new Facebook design and features are very clearly aimed at incorporating the better parts of Google+ and improving on them by adding a whole lot of embedded capabilities.

New features include larger images, embedded video, music streaming – this expectation arose after an employee of Facebook tweeted about it. He said, “The ‘Listen with your friend’ feature in ticker is blowing my mind. Listen to what your friends are listening. LIVE”. The post has since been deleted.