Facebook is working on a redesign to its home page that will likely alter how applications spread on its developer platform. Considering that leading apps on the platform are social games, the changes are obviously going to matter to many of our readers on this site. So here’s a brief recap, with links to our in-depth coverage over on Inside Facebook.
We already know that Facebook is going to be introducing a new home page news feed that defaults to an algorithmically-determined feed of “Top Stories.” This is like what Facebook had before the March redesign. In the forthcoming redesign, the raw, real-time stream of updates will still exist, but it will be called “recent activity” and you’ll have to click on a button to see it on the home page.
In a document intended for brand advertisers that was published today, Facebook also says a wide range of other content will appear in the feed, including photos, events, and information from groups. Developers who find traffic coming in through pages should note that users will see when friends become a fan of a page both in Top Stories and in the recent activity stream.
No news on how prominent apps will be displayed in Top Stories, though. Based on previous screenshots seen by Facebook users, we just know that they’ll be in there. However, none of the new screenshots we’ve seen show the bottom navigation toolbar — so we’re not sure what’s going on with that.
Other new screenshots have also surfaced, showing the top navigation bar with new icons for users to access Facebook’s core communication channels, including notifications, requests, and messages. The number of unread notifications, requests, or messages appears in a red bubble in the header, just as notifications do now in the site’s application bar at the bottom of the screen. By mousing over any one of the three new icons, users can access unread messages in a dropdown menu. In screenshots of that dropdown, apps are clearly visible.