Facebook has just announced that it is beginning to roll out a modified version of its homepage that incorporates the ‘Highlights’ section into the News Feed. You’ll now be able to jump between two different versions of the feed: the Live Feed, which displays your friends’ updates in real-time, and the News Feed, which displays the top items your friends have posted over the last few days (these generally are the most commented on/Liked stories).
The new design is a compromise between the ‘old’ News Feed, which used algorithms to present stories Facebook thought you’d find interesting, and the feed Facebook rolled out back in March that consisted of a Twitter-like stream of recent updates. Since this year’s redesign Facebook has used the ‘Highlights’ section at the right hand side of the screen to present items you may have missed, but this was never an ideal solution: for one, you couldn’t see your friends’ comments on these posts, and the small space afforded to Highlights made it easy to pass over.
Today’s change will make the Highlights section redundant, so it will be removed (everything below it will also be shifted higher on the page, which means the ‘Birthdays’ and ‘Events’ sections will no longer be buried). Facebook’s post also notes that the News Feed will include more events, including when your friends become fans of Pages, add friends, or RSVP to an event.
The change has been a long time coming — reports about the merging of Highlights back into the feed emerged as far back as June.