Facebook Testing New Access Points for Viral Communication Channels

Earlier today, we covered two upcoming changes to Facebook’s home page and News Feed:

  1. Facebook is returning to a “Top News” stream as the default home page feed, pushing the real-time stream to a secondary tab.
  2. Groups are now getting partial News Feed presence.

Now, some users are seeing additional UI tests Facebook is running in the site’s header. In the tests, the header contains new icons for users to access Facebook’s core communication channels: notifications, requests, and messages.


The number of unread notifications, requests, or messages appears in a red bubble in the header, just as notifications do now in the site’s application bar at the bottom of the screen. By mousing over any one of the three new icons, users can access unread messages in a dropdown.


Given the prominence of the notification and request alerts, we would expect this change to increase viral channel engagement and conversion for app developers. However, three red balloons at the top of the screen may also seem daunting to some users who have many applications.

“The navigation menu is just one of many things across the site that we’re testing in order to simplify and improve the user experience,” a Facebook spokesperson told us.

Thanks to Navarr Barnier for the tip.

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Leave a Reply

10 Responses to “Facebook Testing New Access Points for Viral Communication Channels”

  1. Charles says:

    Yay for MouseHunt!!

  2. Create Facebook Application says:

    It’s quite cool. I really like it and am just waiting for these options to get live.

  3. Πολύ Σημαντικές Αλλαγές στο Facebook! | Newsbytes.gr says:

    [...] Facebook. Τα νέα όμως δεν σταματάνε εκεί και σύμφωνα με το Inside Facebook αλλά και με εκπρόσωπο της εταιρίας που μίλησε στο [...]

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    [...] Vía: Inside Facebook [...]

  5. Vincenzo Piromalli says:

    New layout for the homepage of Facebook!!!


  6. Joe Dawson says:

    I’m not so sure about the top notifications..

  7. Edmund says:

    Some how my friend list named “High School” “Middle School” and “Elementary School” got automatically deleted today…

  8. Facebook to Deliver Platform Roadmap this Wednesday – Big Changes on the Way? says:

    [...] tests that we’ve seen in the wild have included new access points for Facebook’s communication channels on the top menu bar in one case, and a missing bottom menu bar in the other, but these are just [...]

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

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