Facebook Adds New Feed And Friend Filters

-Recently Updated Friends Icon-Want to view which of your friends recently updated their profile? It is a feature that was lost with the new Facebook redesign, but as of last night, there are new filters which give you greater access to your friends’ latest activities. On the new Friends page, you can click on the “Recently Updated” filter to view which of your friends recently changed their profile “or recently connected with Facebook Pages.”

What’s most interesting is that this wasn’t added to the homepage and was instead relegated to the Friends page. My guess is that Facebook doesn’t want to generate actual news feed stories out from users’ basic profile information. Facebook essentially opened up the feed but removed many of the stories that they used to publish to the main feed.

As Alexandre Roche writes on the Facebook blog, “We’ve added the filter for status updates to your home page, rather than the Friends Page, because the two play different roles on the site.” My interpretation of that statement is that Facebook doesn’t want to share the more personal information with developers. Feel free to interpret that statement differently though.

In addition to viewing your friends recent changes to their profile, you can also view their recent status updates with the new “Status Updates” filter that was implemented on the Facebook homepage. While it’s great that users have access to this information, I find it somewhat surprising that Facebook is now implementing the new Friends page as a tool for keeping certain information private.

It’s as though Facebook has opened the feed yet has moved a lot of the activity that users once had access to from their homepage so that developers can’t access it. In other words: Facebook’s feed isn’t truly an open feed. Regardless of the developer aspect of these new features, many users will be grateful to see these new additions. One thing that still appears to be absent from both the feed and the new Friends page is newly formed relationships.

Do you think these new changes are sufficient? If you are a developer, do you find it ironic that Facebook has relegated this information to a separate page and away from the feed?

I should make one clarification. You can currently view that a user’s profile has been recently updated as a developer but what you can’t view is things such as “Nick just became a fan of The Oprah Winfrey Show”. It’s a relatively small issue but I think having access to those types of stories would provide value for any developer parsing users’ feeds.