Facebook Borrows Another Feature From Twitter (Or Was It FriendFeed?): The Hovercard

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There’s been quite a bit of Facebook news today, with a redesigned Interests page, the addition of a new section to Facebook’s privacy settings, and the launch of Communities as Facebook sets out to own people’s interests. We’ve just come across one more subtle new change: Facebook is getting hovercards.

During a press briefing today Facebook mentioned the use of the new popups in its redesigned Interests section, which now links your favorite books, activities, and movies with their corresponding Facebook Pages. Mouseover one of these now, and you’ll see a small popup that shows how many users also ‘Like’ that page. What Facebook didn’t mention is that these popups are also being used throughout the site.

Hover your mouse pointer over a user’s name in the News Feed, and you’ll see how many friends you have in common, along with a link to message them. Mouseover an event, and you’ll get an at-a-glance look at where and when it’s being held, and how many of your friends are going. It’s quite handy.

From what I can tell this hasn’t been rolled out to everyone yet — it may well be rolling out alongside the Community feature and updated Activity/Interest pages.

Twitter launched similar hovercards in February, and they’re also included in Twitter’s @anywhere platform. But Twitter was hardly the first to implement the feature: FriendFeed (which Facebook used to copy quite regularly and eventually acquired) has had them for quite a while.

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