Mashable obtained extensive details on the new homepage design being tested by Facebook, and highlights include a smaller Facebook Publisher box and a new Top News filter for the social-networking site’s news feed.
According to Mashable, the new home page encourages toggling between views and feeds to personalize the experience and shortens Facebook’s load time.
As for the news feed, it can be displayed in summary view (Top News) and real-time view (Recent Activity), and Mashable points out that the first filter is a prominent feature of FriendFeed, adding that it also appears that Facebook is removing the Highlights section on the right-hand sidebar of the home page in favor of the Top News filter.
Fanning, RSVPs for events and virtual gifts will also reappear in the social stream organically, making it easier for brands to expand their reach across Facebook, Mashable reported.
In the documents obtained by Mashable, Facebook said:
Facebook is simplifying the user experience on the home page by introducing Top News and Recent Activity streams. Now, when users log on to Facebook for the first time in a while, they will see the most important stories that they missed while they were away. From there, users can navigate to the real-time stream and toggle between both views throughout their sessions. In addition to making it easier for users to view content that is most relevant to them, this change also speeds up the time it takes for the home page to load and makes birthday reminders more prominent.
Ultimately, Facebook believes these changes will increase engagement on the home page by surfacing more relevant stories to users.
Facebook has also put information back into the stream that people have asked for, including photo tags, friend acceptances, relationships, Event RSVPs and group memberships. In addition, birthdays are now viewable above the fold.