Facebook is testing a new home page feature called “Happening Now,” which shows current status updates, likes and other FB activity from friends as they happen – a real-time feed, if you will, kind of like the Twitter timeline.
The main difference here is that it is not the main news feed, which should keep users from having a meltdown about the changes (as they have been known to do with past Facebook redesigns – or other redesigns for that matter).
Again, this is only a test at this point, and with very few people. According to Josh Constine at Inside Facebook, Facebook says the “test includes a small percentage of Facebook users, just a fraction of a percent”.
It’s located where the “Upcoming Events” section normally appears. When you click on an update from there, it brings up a window that includes the post in full. Here’s a screenshot from AllFacebook:
Constine brings up some pretty interesting points about Facebook’s home page bounce rate, and how this could keep users engaged and on the page more, as it makes more content more immediately available for consumption. I can’t imagine that Facebook’s bounce rate is too bad as is, but I could see where this would help in that area.
There’s no telling if this will actually become a feature beyond the test. I’d have to see it in action before I could make any judgments about it, and I’m not in the small fraction of a percent, unfortunately, but I’d be curious to hear what readers think about the idea of this becoming a main feature of Facebook.
Share your thoughts in the comments.