Following the rule of demand and supply, Facebook has started supplying live updates on the recently re-launched home page news feed.
Adam Hupp, an engineer at Facebook said, “Live updating for the stream was one of the most common requests received for the home page.”
Giving in to this popular demand by its users, Facebook has decided to introduce live update streams. Accordingly, the number of new posts that have been shared since the home page was uploaded is displayed at the top of the page just below the Publisher box. Users will no longer require to constantly refresh the home page to see if there are any new messages.
Facebook has trumped Twitter by introducing live updates – something that numerous Twitter users have asked for already.
This feature is being rolled out gradually, so that some of Facebook’s 200 million users will receive this service sooner than others.
Those who have a very large friend network, however, need not worry about this new feature turning their homepage into a fast-moving ticker. The updates will not be directly displayed – only the number of updates since the last page load will appear at the top of the feed, as shown above. The user can click on the update notification to view those updates.
A new chat segmentation system has been launched for users with many friends. It allows users to chat with selected friends and appear offline to others. The segmentation is done via friends lists assignments.
Amongst other new improvements made by Facebook on the home page, is the availability of better filters and highlights, placement of friend requests back at the top of the right-hand column and a better system to manage the friend list.
A couple of weeks ago, Facebook also announced the creation of new Open Stream APIs, which will enable developers to integrate the Facebook stream outside of Facebook.com.