WordPress announced a new tab on the WordPress.com home page and a new toolbar button for notifications.
"The first thing you’ll notice is that there is no number," explains Andy Skelton of WordPress. "We axed it out of compassion. It all boils down to how people feel about inboxes. In giving you a notifications stream, the last thing we wanted to do was cause more stress! So we dropped the unread count and now the orange color simply means there are new notes since you last looked. An icon shows the type of your latest notification. The icon now also refreshes while you’re on a page, no need to reload a page to see new notifications."
"You might also notice that unread notes are still white until you open them, which turns them gray. We didn’t entirely remove the concept of read/unread; we just stopped counting them. Feel free to turn them all gray if that’s your thing, or let some notes stay unread. Either way, we won’t pester you with a number."
Here's what the toolbar button looks like:
From the Notifications tab, you can scroll back through older notifications, and WordPress says it will be adding more features, as well as new notifications, for which the company says it has lots of ideas.
The changes don't work with IE versions older than version 9.