Want Live Status Updates Back? Here’s How to Hack the New Facebook Design

When Facebook launched the real-time-stream version of the news feed in March, some users liked it, but many said they didn’t. At the time, people said they preferred the former design, an automated news feed that showed you interesting but older items instead of a live stream.

So now the new Facebook news feed shows you the automated news feed, similar to the home page before the March design. But by this point, millions of users have apparently gotten so used to the the live stream of (mostly) status updates that they want it back again, judging from various news reports and Facebook protest groups. So here’s a couple tips for how to bring it back, more or less, in the new design.

Before we get started, note that the new design does sort of include a live stream in the main news feed interface; you can just click on it it at the top center of the news feed home page to make it your default view. Note that this isn’t quite what the old feed was. That one contained mostly status updates, as other may other feed items, like photos, were moved into a “Highlights” section. Now, more items, including photos, are back in. The new version of the live feed also has another big change from before: There’s a default limit to 250 people in your live feed. More on tweaking that feature, further down.

Get those status updates back!

1. Go to your Facebook home page. In the left-hand column of friend lists and other feed filters, click on the “More” button. The full view of the column will open up.

2. Browse down the column until you see the “Status Updates” category. Click and hold on it, and drag it to the top of the page, above the “News Feed” category.

3. You have now set your default home page to be these status updates

4. Also: As before, you can scroll to the bottom of the feed, click on “Edit Options” button, and select which people you don’t want to see in the feed.

What about the Live Feed?

Let’s say you like the new version of the live feed that Facebook rolled out on Friday. You like seeing all the other information about your friends in a raw, chronological stream, and you also like seeing the new information mixed in, like photos and who you’re friends just became friends with. But there’s a problem — if you have more than 250 friends on Facebook. The company has made it so that the live stream only shows you the 250 most “engaging” of your friends, it tells us. These are apparently the people who you already interact with the most frequently on the site. This limit is not a big deal for most users, as the average person has 130 friends on Facebook.

But let’s say you have 500 close friends on the site, and you want to keep close track of them in the live feed? Here’s how.

1. Make sure you’re on the news feed home page (not the “Status Update” home page if you followed the previous set of directions). Scroll to the bottom of the feed and click on “Edit Options.” You’ll see a window pop open that lets you do a few things.

2. At the bottom of the box, you’ll see a a “Number of Friends” section that shows you how many of your friends are currently appearing in your Live Feed. The default is 250, so if you want to up the number, type it in. You can go all the way up to Facebook’s friend limit: 5000 people.

3. On the top left-hand side of the box you’ll see a “Show More” feature. Select friends in this section to gurantee that everything they do will show up in your live feed. Otherwise, these friends may not automatically appear within the select number of friends that you chose in the previous step.

4. On the right-hand side of the window, you’ll see a list of the people you have at some point previously banished from your news feed. You can add or subtract people from that list.