UPDATE on Wednesday, November 9th, 2011: Now you have a new way of sorting your News Feed: most recent stories first. You can also continue to view highlighted stories first, followed by recent stories, like what you see today. If you don’t have the updates to News Feed yet, you can expect to see them over the coming weeks as the rollout continues.
Originally Published on Tuesday, September 20, 2011: When you visit Facebook, you should see the things you’re most interested in, like status updates from your family and closest friends. Last week, we announced improvements to Friend Lists and a new Subscribe button to help you see more of what you care about, and less of what you don’t.
But it’s not just the people you hear from that make your News Feed interesting. It also matters how much you visit Facebook. If you haven’t returned in a week, you may want to see a summary of top stories first. If you’ve already visited several times that day, you probably care more about recent news.
Starting today, it will be easier to keep up with the people in your life no matter how frequently or infrequently you’re on Facebook.
News Feed: See What Matters at the Top
When you pick up a newspaper after not reading it for a week, the front page quickly clues you into the most interesting stories. In the past, News Feed hasn’t worked like that. Updates slide down in chronological order so it’s tough to zero in on what matters most.
Now, News Feed will act more like your own personal newspaper. You won’t have to worry about missing important stuff. All your news will be in a single stream with the most interesting stories featured at the top. If you haven’t visited Facebook for a while, the first things you’ll see are top photos and statuses posted while you’ve been away. They’re marked with an easy-to-spot blue corner.
If you check Facebook more frequently, you’ll see the most recent stories first. Photos will also be bigger and easier to enjoy while you’re scrolling through.
Ticker: Join Friends in Real-Time
News Feed often has a time lag. Usually when you’re on Facebook, a lot of your friends are too. Until now, there hasn’t been an easy way to see and chat with your friends about photos, articles, and other things they’re posting in real-time. The new ticker helps you do just that.
Ticker shows you the same stuff you were already seeing on Facebook, but it brings your conversations to life by displaying updates instantaneously. Now when a friend comments, asks a question or shares something like a check in, you’ll be able to join the conversation right away. Click on anything in ticker to see the full story and chime in – without losing your place.
If you have a wider screen, slide the grey bar between ticker and chat up or down to adjust how many updates you see at a time. To control who can see your updates anywhere on Facebook, including in ticker and News Feed, adjust your sharing control or apps settings.
We hope these improvements make your conversations on Facebook more lively, no matter how often you visit. For tips about how to use improved Friend Lists, and the new Subscribe button right from News Feed, check out this video.
Mark Tonkelowitz, an engineering manager at Facebook, looks forward to seeing conversations about improved News Feed in his ticker.