Facebook Adds Live Streaming Function

By Jesse Brody


Over the past few years, Facebook has become an internet and social juggernaut by inspiring relationships, business partnerships, social gatherings and feuds, as well as a source of networking and entertainment for now over 700 million people.

Facebook’s main parts have usually consisted of its home page news feed and then the actual profile of your hand selected “Facebook friends”. The newsfeed was originally basically just a constant update of every comment, picture, or post left by one user to another or on that person’s wall. This basic pattern of letting everyone know what everyone else was doing was the way Facebook’s popularity escalated so quickly. However, every so often users awake to some type of unwarned change to their familiar home on the internet, commonly referred to by many as the “new Facebook.”

Recently, the most notable change to the Facebook world is its news feed. While the basic newsfeed is relatively unchanged, a new algorithm was put into place to make “news” (posts and comments) that Facebook believes would interest users. This is considered “top news.” This is judged by how many people “like” or comment on a certain post. Also, if there are certain people whose profiles you view more often than others, their posts are now much more likely to come up at the top of the page than the post of just any user.

In late September, Facebook made huge changes to its entire format as blogs and newsfeeds were flooded with posts of mixed reaction to this “new Facebook.” Most feedback was negative, feeling the changes were confusing and unnecessary.  Now the Facebook home is split into separate sections with the top news on top. This is similar to the old top news in idea, yet is much smaller and more personally specific, usually only containing one post from someone who Facebook feels is important to the user. Then there is only a small section of recent stories(old feed format )which is what most long time users are most familiar with. Finally, there is a section called “from earlier today”  which is less specified version of the “top new” section.

Another big change creator Mark Zuckerberg and his Facebook team made was the live streaming news feed ticker. This feed is always available in the top right of any page including all user profile pages and  fan pages. This live streaming news feed gives users updates not normally found in the  standard newsfeed, such as every “like”, comment, and post from every user in your network. This has been described by many as “overkill,” as well as with such constant updates of every little action taken, as it is difficult to read most of these updates and they scroll so quickly down the page.

The way one comments on a page is different as well. The user has to be careful to check the security level of anything before commenting on any post. To do so, one must hover over a small icon that lies under each item in the newsfeed. There is an icon or each level, one for only friends, one for custom groups. The main one to look at is the globe icon. This icon means whatever you post will immediately be sent to the newsfeed ticker and is available to every friend in the network. Yet, the users’ own posts never show up in the ticker.

Facebook is also making way soon for what they call “timeline.” This new application basically lists what the user has ever posted, sorting out the most important, sorting out keywords. Facebook programmers deem to foretell the importance of a post or event, and forms for a time line for their Facebook life. Any post on timeline can be deleted, hidden from view, or made to only be shown to the persons of the user’s choice.

Also, Facebook is to soon set forth an app allowing users to view and even listen in on whatever songs their friends are currently listening to. Friends can click in to listen and if Facebook notices three or more people listening to the same song from the same person it will make a post of just that. It will also makes posts if a number of friends are watching the same show, checking out a new store or restaurant, or downloading the same app.

Also, now when a user “defriends” another user, the friend is still able to see all of the users’ public posts. To stop this, the user must also block that person.


facebook has given users more ways to follow their friends by adding a scrollbar of activity in real time.   Photo by Kristina Summerville