Facebook has launched some new features related to controlling game updates seen in the news feed. Before, Facebook users could hide an application story or block it completely, but now game stories will only post to the news feed if you’re actually playing the game.
"This means people who play games can post stories to their Wall without worrying about overwhelming their friends who aren’t playing, and people who don’t play games won’t see irrelevant stories in their feed for which they have no context," says Facebook Games Product Manager Jared Morgenstern.
As a general non-player, this sounds like good news to me. I think we’ve all see numerous complaints in our news feeds about people who don’t care about your "farm" or you "mafia wars" and these types of things. For those who do play, new features include:
– Full stories in News Feed so players won’t miss when a friend shares an action or needs help in a game. The more active a person is in a game, the more prominent the stories will be.
– Smarter bookmarks on the home page that will automatically appear and reorder based on the games being played. Users will no longer need to individually bookmark apps, and it will be easier to get to favorite apps.
– A clearer, highlighted number for pending requests or tasks alongside bookmarks.
– Requests in the Games Dashboard, where users can manage all their game activity and discover new games.
Facebook users who don’t play games will still see stories when a particular game is added by a group of friends. This way, you can at least see if several of your friends are playing something, and you can choose to join them if you want, but you won’t be bombarded with updates about it if you don’t join. Sounds like an improvement to me.