Called the ‘Ticker’ by internal Facebook employees, the social networking company is slowly allowing more users to view a real-time feed of friend actions to the right of the main Facebook News Feed. This unfiltered flow of news shows actions such as comments, like clicks, new friend connections, photo uploads and status updates that friends are creating on mutual friend pages as well as non-friend pages. It’s basically a feed of every single interaction that a user does on Facebook.
The Ticker is designed to replace the Most Recent filter on the Facebook News Feed, which is absent from the new design. Users will only have the Top News option to view on the wall and have to rely on the Facebook algorithm to dictate the most interesting stories. The algorithm watches how many times you visit a friend’s page as well as the number of comments and likes you make about the friend. When a user clicks on a story in the Ticker, it appears in the main feed in the middle of the page and the user can make a comment.
There is also a highlight function that sticks the update to the News Feed, but it’s unclear if this action manually raises the importance of the update within the Facebook algorithm. If this action does add to the algorithm, users will have a way to mark the importance of posts or photos directly rather than waiting on Facebook to guess what’s important to the user. Similar to the main news feed, users also have the ability to hide a single post, hide all user posts or hide posts from the application. However, the addition of the Ticker is likely a welcome change for developers of social games and other applications. A user is probably less likely to remove app updates from the real-time feed after it’s separated from the main column of content.