Some Facebook users are seeing a new option to hide Ticker, the real-time activity feed in the right sidebar of the homepage.
Although the feature can be distracting, it is a key component of the new Open Graph ecosystem that lets apps continuously publish lightweight stories to Ticker and larger aggregate stories to News Feed and Timeline. Facebook may have found that users are rarely clicking on Ticker stories, but by seeing if users hide the module completely, the company can determine what improvements might be necessary.
Currently Ticker includes many of the same stories that end up in News Feed, giving the feature little value (see image below). The social network found that the ticker on canvas app pages was not driving significant traffic to games or apps so it has removed it for now.
Ideally when more users are using Open Graph apps, Ticker will be filled with actions like “watch,” “run,” or “cook.” The module will show what your friends are doing and News Feed will be for posts they actively share or aggregate stories like “10 of your friends posted about the Super Bowl.” The social network might also consider a layout change to make the page feel less cluttered. News Feed could ultimately appear more like Timeline, with two columns of content and different boxes for different types of activity. Either way, Facebook will need to find a solution to provide the discovery channels apps and pages need to reach their audiences.