Facebook condenses Ticker into single post in bookmarks bar and multiple standalone feeds in News Feed revamp

Ticker, the real-time activity feed Facebook launched in 2011, is being pretty much retired in the latest redesign of News Feed and replaced by separate feeds that users can choose from.

A small remnant of the feature remains in the bottom left corner of the site, where Facebook displays one recent item at a time, almost camouflaged within the bookmarks/chat sidebar. The stories would be almost unnoticeable, except that they refresh whenever there is new activity, typically every few minutes, but sometimes within seconds. It’s unclear how much this contributes to the user experience, but Facebook could remove or tweak the feature based on how much engagement it generates. Users can hide this by clicking the gear icon.


Users will also have the option to see more stories about their friends and pages they Like in the new feed options — All Friends and Most Recent. The All Friends feed is a full, unfiltered stream of all of a user’s friends’ posts. This includes photos, links, check-ins and status updates they share. More passive stories, such as those about users commenting on posts, liking photos or adding new friends, will appear in the Most Recent Feed. However, this feed does not show every bit of activity on the site. Like Ticker, it is close to a full stream but does include some filtering, a spokesperson tells us. Most Recent also includes posts from pages that users Like and public figures they follow.


Many users strongly disliked Ticker, which Facebook first began testing in June 2011 with the headline “Happening Now.” It rolled out widely with the News Feed update in September 2011 and spawned the meme below. Some users have installed browser plugins to remove Ticker and in January 2012, Facebook gave users a native way to hide the feature. At one point the social network had a games-specific ticker on canvas app pages, but it did not drive significant traffic to apps so Facebook removed it.


After f8 in 2011, Ticker was presented as a key component of the new Open Graph ecosystem that lets apps continuously publish lightweight stories to Ticker and larger aggregate stories to News Feed and Timeline. Without a significant amount of Open Graph stories being regularly generated, Ticker ended up including many of the same stories that were in News Feed, giving the feature little value, as seen below. It’s unclear how much traffic or engagement Ticker actually generated and whether users will access the new Most Recent or other feeds more frequently than they clicked on items from Ticker.


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