New Facebook Beta Home Page Looks a Little Liter

fb-designFacebook told us months ago that it would be testing out new versions of the news feed in order to combine real-time status updates with the most relevant “Highlights” users may have missed. Now, a new test version of the news feed has appeared in the wild, as spotted by The Next Web. The redesign looks simpler, and not so different from Facebook Lite, the site it introduced in August, that it originally described as a faster-loading version designed for users with slow internet connections.

“We are currently testing different designs of the News Feed and the home page with select users,” a Facebook spokesperson tells us. “The tests help us understand if we can make it easier for users to balance both the most important and the most recent information from people they’re connected to.”

In this version, Highlights, a right-hand section of the site showing algorithmically-selected news from friends, has disappeared. Items like photos are apparently once again appearing within the main feed, as they did in previous designs. This is in line with what we reported in June.

Meanwhile, an old news feed feature where you could see both a raw stream of feeds as well as “top news” is back too. That feature also appeared in Facebook Lite in August — and FriendFeed’s interface in previous months. However, in this redesign, third-party applications crucially appear within the news feed; they don’t within Lite, which led some Facebook app developers to wonder what was going on. The screenshots don’t show how apps are presented in the bottom toolbar of the current design, or even if there’s a bottom toolbar. However, apps are appearing in the feed itself, and you can also see a top-left area called “requests,” showing what Facebook has until now called “notifications.” There’s one request in a screenshot for Slashkey’s virtual farming game Farm Town.

The “publisher” box for sharing links and other media also appears to have been de-emphasized. There’s now a box you can open to update your status in the right top-hand section of the main feed, but you apparently need to click to open it.

Here’s what Facebook told us about the changes it was planning, back in June:

We’ve publicly said [ed. here] that we were going to iterate on the homepage, just like we’re doing all the time across the site. In a large part the change is because we acknowledge that there needs to be a balance between the stream and highlights.It’s been a big point of feedback: They missed news feed in its former structure. We are looking at ways to help users understand not only what’s happening right now but what’s been happening since they last logged in.

The first three screenshots below, courtesy of The Next Web. The first is of “recent stories,” which is presumably equivalent to the current stream full of status updates, albeit with highlights.

fb-design

The “top news” version, meanwhile, appears to be more like what the previous news feed was — an algorithmically-tuned view of the most interesting activities from your friends. Notice that once it is clicked on, it is called “Evening News,” which suggests that Facebook is looking at showing users various time-frames for what sort of “top news” to show people.

top-news

Notice the app in the news feed, at the bottom:

recent-stories

And, for sake of comparison, here’s what Facebook Lite looks like:

And, for good measure, here’s the current home page:

Facebook Home

Sponsored Post

Hands-On Social Media Training for Beginners


Social Media 101
In our Social Media 101 boot camp, you’ll determine the social media sites that matter most to you, based on personal and professional goals. Starting May 13, you will learn the best practices for using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr, along with complete personal profiles on each site. Register today!

Leave a Reply

17 Responses to “New Facebook Beta Home Page Looks a Little Liter”

  1. Testing, Testing…. Facebook Lite Now Fully International says:

    [...] as Facebook tests out a simplified, redesigned news feed with some users, it is now pushing out a much simpler version, Lite, to all languages. Facebook [...]

  2. Fred McGraw says:

    Good. It removes that pesky highlight nonsense that stops people from ever noticing events and pokes. Not too heavy, not too light.

  3. Zafarali Ahmed says:

    how can i access this?

  4. StraightUpSocial News Links for 10/7/2009 « StraightUpSocial says:

    [...] New Facebook Beta Home Page Looks a Little Liter [...]

  5. New Interface Simplifies Facebook Events says:

    [...] is trying to make its interface simpler for new users and existing users — see its news feed tests if not Facebook Lite for some very obvious examples of these changes. But the company is also [...]

  6. Eric Eldon says:

    Fred, I concur.

    Zarafali, you and I will have to wait until Facebook rolls out a new design to all users. It’s just in testing now.

  7. Zafarali Ahmed says:

    That sucks, i want to be a tester!

  8. Facebook Lite: Eher abgespecktes Facebook oder aufgemotztes Twitter? | Basic Thinking Blog says:

    [...] Facebook Lite und Twitter miteinander verglichen – und da kann Twitter kaum mithalten. Jüngste Tests am herkömmlichen Facebook-Design bestätigen meine Prognosen und zeigen auf, wo Facebook [...]

  9. This Used To Be My Playground says:

    [...] like it could be close as it would appear that Facebook Lite’s “View Top Stories” will soon make its way to Facebook proper. That’s a good step, but it’s basically FriendFeed’s [...]

  10. This Used To Be My Playground « agrotime blog says:

    [...] it could be close as it would appear that Facebook Lite’s “View Top Stories” will soon make its way to Facebook proper. That’s a good step, but it’s basically FriendFeed’s [...]

  11. This Used To Be My Playground | To-Review Dot Com says:

    [...] it could be near as it would materialize that Facebook Lite’s “View Top Stories” will presently attain its way to Facebook proper. That’s a beatific step, but it’s essentially FriendFeed’s [...]

  12. This Used To Be My Playground | Technology News Videos And Resources says:

    [...] like it could be close as it would appear that Facebook Lite’s “View Top Stories” will soon make its way to Facebook proper. That’s a good step, but it’s basically FriendFeed’s [...]

  13. This Used To Be My Playground | The Daily Tech Log says:

    [...] like it could be close as it would appear that Facebook Lite’s “View Top Stories” will soon make its way to Facebook proper. That’s a good step, but it’s basically FriendFeed’s [...]

  14. This Used To Be My Playground | Tech stuff center says:

    [...] like it could be close as it would appear that Facebook Lite’s “View Top Stories” will soon make its way to Facebook proper. That’s a good step, but it’s basically FriendFeed’s [...]

  15. Facebook’s Redesign Puts a Lot More Information Into the News Feed says:

    [...] the contents will be familiar to our readers, and the screenshots in the document are blurrier than what’s already out there, but it contains some interesting new [...]

  16. Facebook’s Redesign Screenshots Show Viral Channel Changes for Social Games says:

    [...] We already know that Facebook is going to be introducing a new home page news feed that defaults to an algorithmically-determined feed of “Top Stories.” This is like what Facebook had before the March redesign. In the forthcoming redesign, the raw, real-time stream of updates will still exist, but it will be called “recent activity” and you’ll have to click on a button to see it on the home page. [...]

  17. Our Complete Rundown of Facebook’s Massive Platform Changes says:

    [...] weeks now, we and other publications have been seeing screenshots and hearing rumors about big changes that Facebook has planned for its platform. What [...]

interested in advertising with inside facebook?

Social Media Jobs
of the Day

Manager Social Media

Ralph Lauren
New York, NY

Social Media Manager

Superfly
Chicago, IL

Social Media + Web Management Consultant

IPPF/Western Hemisphere Region
New York, NY

Director of Marketing (Social Media/Web)

Creative Circle
Corona, CA

Featured Company

Join leading companies like this one and recruit from the nation's top media job seekers on the Mediabistro Job Board. Every job post comes with our satisfaction guarantee. Learn More
 

Our Sponsors

Also from Inside Network:   AppData - Facebook & iOS Application Stats   PageData - Engagement Data on Facebook Pages   Facebook Marketing Bible   Inside Network Research
 
home | site map | advertising/sponsorships | about | careers | contact us | help courses | browse jobs | freelancers | events | forums | content | member benefits | reprints & permissions terms of use | privacy policy Copyright © 2014 Mediabistro Inc. call (212) 389-2000 or email us