Just this week, Facebook made some subtle changes to its News Feed and sent an email to announce it would be sending you fewer emails. But that's just the start. Reports say there is more to come during Facebook's f8 conference today, which will help build the platform into a "social web."
Mashable reporter Ben Parr says he has seen the new updates Facebook plans to announce at the conference in San Fransisco. He writes they "will change the world of social media" and describes them as "mind-boggling."
According to The Guardian (via Digital Trends), Facebook will most likely introduce its new ticker -- launched earlier this week -- and partnerships with major media organizations that could be associated with it. It is also expected that Facebook will make updates -- finally -- to the "Like" button and announce its music application. The Guardian has more:
The announcements form part of Zuckerberg's vision of building a "social web" where users interact around all websites, online films and music. It builds on the introduction of the several tools for sites at last year's f8, which Facebook claims has driven a fourfold increase in traffic from the social network to media sites.
Facebook's 750 million users will be able to automatically share activity such as viewing, listening and reading in the live "ticker" stream, once they have opted in to the feature. The new stream will be separate from the existing Facebook news feed, although popular items – such as the most frequently played songs among friends – will appear in the column.
Technorati also issued its guesses as to what announcements would entail, one of which it believes is a tablet app created on HTML 5:
This will be the long-awaited beautiful, slick app that utilizes almost all of the best design features of devices such as the iPad, including the still and video cameras, contacts list, touch keyboard and screen, GPS function, and even gyroscope for use with certain games.
The new tablet app will be an absolute embrace of HTML 5 for Facebook, creating an app that is compatible with every single mobile device out there, and expect something that just might modify itself based on which device it is being used on.
Facebook wasted no time making other updates before today's conference. Just yesterday, Facebook sent an email saying was "trying out" a system that would send fewer emails, but it is a feature you can turn back on.
There have also been recent changes to the News Feed, including a featured ticker. According to Facebook's blog post, when you login, your News Feed should show you things that you're most interested in. To make sure you're as up-to-date as possible on the latest "news" in the Facebook world, the News Feed can tell if you've been on several times that day already or if you've gone on a month fast. Here's more from the post:
Now, News Feed will act more like your own personal newspaper. You won't have to worry about missing important stuff. All your news will be in a single stream with the most interesting stories featured at the top. If you haven't visited Facebook for a while, the first things you'll see are top photos and statuses posted while you've been away. They're marked with an easy-to-spot blue corner.
The ticker, which can be seen near the top right hand corner of the News Feed, helps eliminate any lag time the main News Feed and "brings your conversations to life":
Until now, there hasn't been an easy way to see and chat with your friends about photos, articles, and other things they're posting in real-time.
Now when a friend comments, asks a question or shares something like a check in, you'll be able to join the conversation right away. Click on anything in ticker to see the full story and chime in – without losing your place.
Last week, Facebook also launched two features -- a subscription button and improved friends list. These have been liked to Twitter's "follow" and Google+'s "circles". Although, the Guardian reported Andrew Bosworth, director of engineering at Facebook, as saying the updates were planned before Google+ had even launched.