September 20, 2011 2 Comments
Facebook is rolling out new features and changes in preparation for its F8 conference this Friday. Here’s a rundown on some of them and what they mean for average users.
Facebook Subscribe Button
Facebook launched a subscribe button on personal profiles last week that allows users to subscribe to other users’ news feeds without sending them a friend request. Much like following someone on Twitter, the subscribe feature allows users to follow public posts.
Especially useful for celebrities, journalists and industry leaders with a large follower base, the subscription feature could replace the need for these folks to maintain a separate fan page. In fact, the option will be available soon to migrate Facebook page fans to profile subscribers. In order to offer your personal profile up for subscription, users must opt into the feature. Once activated, users will see this button in the upper right corner of their profile, allowing them to subscribe to your public posts without friend requesting you.
Facebook News Ticker
Facebook is rolling out a much anticipated and tested news ticker above the chat column. The ticker is a live feed of current updates from your friends and those you subscribe to, while your news feed will show only the most popular posts and topics. The feed will include larger photos as well. Controls in the feed will allow you to adjust the amount of news you receive from individual friends. The ticker will move fast and in real time.
Facebook Smart Lists
Smart lists automatically update themselves based on your friends’ profile info. As the lists rolled out users noticed their friends automatically grouped by Facebook based on where they work, went to school, or where they live. Before this feature it was possible to organize friends into lists but the process was cumbersome. Now Facebook’s taken the lead and done it for us. Users can still create their own friend groups based on hobbies and interests as well. The lists will help determine what is displayed in the news feed. For example being on a user’s “close friend” list ensures they will see your posts prominently in their news feeds. Posts from acquaintances will appear less prominently.
There will be plenty more features rolled out at the F8 conference this Friday. What features are you hoping to see?