Facebook News Feed and Live Feed. What's all this about?

Published on the 22nd November, 2009

I've been switching between Facebook's two feed modes, live feed and news feed, for a while now and up until now I didn't really know why. Facebook introduced these options a month ago and it's been confusing users ever since. So, what I've found is that by default I am shown the news feed which shows the most relevant information, but it's often out of date, sometimes by a couple of days. That's not good. Then you go to the live feed, which seems to be up to the minute but is bloated with Farm Ville and whatnot. That is also not good. The terminology "news feed" and "live feed" are also quite confusing, as you'd expect the "news feed" to be up to date and the "live feed" to be relevant.

I think people expect to go to one place and be shown the latest, relevant information rather than have to compromise between the two. The news feed bases its choices of what it considers interesting by looking at what type of content is posted, who posted it and how many people are commenting on it (see http://www.facebook.com/help.php?page=408). Before this, you could control what is interesting yourself (and if you still can, I can't find how) by selecting types of content to show and also which friends to show more or less of (with granular control over this in turn).

One thing you can do to get live relevant information, which you have selected yourself, is create a friend list. With this you can group together selected friends and these will appear as an extra option under your news feed. To do this, go to: Friends > Lists (on the left) > Create new list, then give your list a name and select which friends are to be included. Now you should find the list appear on the left menu of your home page under news feed.

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