I like the fact that when I sign in to Facebook, I see all the most important friend updates that I missed since the last time I logged in. Wouldn't it be just spectacular if, once I finished reading all those updates, I could switch to another feed for all the updates happening at this exact second.
With an update to Facebook taking effect early Friday, users are now faced with just that: two feeds on their home page. One is the traditional News Feed and the other is a new Live Feed.
According to Facebook engineer Raylene Yung, users who have just logged into Facebook will see "the most interesting things that happened in the last day" on their regular News Feed. Using previous interaction data, like how many times user comments on a friend's posts or how many times a user clicks the "Like" button, the News Feed draws updates that the user is more likely to want to see and, in turn, interact with again.
Once the user has caught up with everything on the News Feed, however, Facebook wants the user to click the "Live Feed" button to see what's going on in the network at that moment. The Live Feed will, as long as the browser stays open, perpetually update with friend activity in real-time.
As always, users can choose what shows up in each feed by editing their settings.
Judging by the comments left on the blog post, users aren't too happy about the update, citing the confusion of having two feeds as one of the main deterring factors. In general, however, it appears to just be another case of Facebook change-a-phobia, where tons of users join useless boycott groups that eventually fade into nonexistence as everyone adjusts to the changes.
While the presence of two different feeds does confuse things a bit, it demonstrates that Facebook is trying to make its site more real-time (like Twitter) without borrowing all the unwanted noise that normally comes with Twitter feeds.