Can't Get Enough Of Facebook's News Feed?

Facebook has been testing a compressed news feed running along the right-hand column of some users' home pages.

Facebook has been testing a denser news feed running along the right-hand column of some users’ home pages; an example appears to the right. first pointed this out a couple of weeks ago, after at least one German user reported a redesigned home page.

Spokespeople for Facebook confirmed this morning that tests of a changed layout for the home page now includes U.S. users.

Like our newest peer, Inside Facebook, described this test design of the home page:

Facebook is testing a new home page design that allows the news feed to be scrolled independently of the rest of the page. This allows ads, app bookmarks, and the top navigation bar to remain visible no matter how many news feed stories a user scrolls through.

The tested design, if implemented, could increase click through rates for advertisers, improve user retention for applications, and make the site easier to browse.

In the test redesign, the original news feed shows up in the center column, while a miniature fversion running up and down the right-hand column shows only text, usually no more than three lines of it at a time — so you can see more friends’ activity without having to scroll down.

The mini-feed content includes likes, friend adds, comments, tags, status updates and shared links.

Clicking on items in the mini feed opens a window to the left that shows more detail, as the screenshot beneath this post illustrates.

Now this test design could potentially become a live rollout in the not-too-distant future — especially because Facebook hasn’t done a full redesign of the home page in just over 16 months — or an entirely new layout might evolve instead. That’s business as usual for the social network, which is constantly upgrading different parts of the site.

So, readers, we’re curious to know whether any of you are seeing test redesigns of the Facebook home page, and if so, do the layouts improve the experience of the site, in your opinion.

Props to Kevin Aries for the screenshots.