Facebook Pushes Slight Home Page Update, Moving App Invites

As part of its broader changes to how games and other applications interact with users on the Facebook home page, third-party requests and invites are moving over to the left-hand navigation bar (we covered the bulk of the interface changes and related ads and policy updates earlier this week).

More subtly, the right-hand column of the home page is also changing slightly — here’s a quick look.

In the Requests section, users are seeing a prompt explaining “You have [#] games and application requests. In order to view them, click on Games or Applications in the menu on the left.” This is a complementary explanation to the the message that pops out to users on the left-hand side the first time they see the revised interface, explaining the changes.

Users can tell if they have pending Application or Game requests by looking for the counters in gray boxes next the corresponding bookmark in the left sidebar.

The right-side app requests prompt will likely disappear eventually, leaving users to infer that the gray counters denote pending requests on the left side. Note that unlike notifications in Facebook’s top navigation bar, the counters are only reset when requests are accepted or ignored, not when they’re merely viewed.

The current order of the side bar is: Events, “Sponsored” (ads), Requests, Questions, and “Get Connected.” Note that the Sponsored section stops showing up, apparently, if you reload the homepage over and over, quickly.

Now that Facebook has moved third party applications out of the right-hand side completely, the real estate is focused on in-house apps that the company thinks will be the most interesting to users, blended together with its interactive ads.

However, Questions is only rolling out to all US users in the coming weeks, Facebook has said — whoever doesn’t have access to questions won’t be seeing that module in the interface, of course. Also note that Questions has appeared in different positions on the right side, and as the product gets iterated upon, its position here could change further.