Facebook tests new real-time feature


13 Jun 2011

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Facebook is testing ‘Happening Now’, a new feature that displays a user’s friends’ activities, such as check-ins, what they’re sharing, and whom they are adding as friends, on a small percentage of news feeds.

“We are currently testing a feature within News Feed that gives people the ability to see what their friends are commenting on and ‘liking’, as these actions are being taken on Facebook," Facebook said of the Twitter-like real-time feature.

Facebook may improve ‘Happening Now’ and make it available to more users, depending on what the social networking site gleans from its test.

At the moment, ‘Happening Now’ rests on the right-hand side of a user’s feed, allowing the user to see what his or her friends have been up to without the need to navigate away from their main feed.

But how do the users like it so far? Comments left on The Next Web indicate ‘Happening Now’ may require some getting used to.

"The new feature isn’t even stable," posted one user, named as larsw. "It is very hard to scroll the new sidebar and ‘friends online’ pics are absent more often than present … I want to get out of the trial!"

"This is super redundant and I am not happy," wrote another user.

One user, however, wrote she would love to test the feature. "Very cool! Would also be helpful for parents!"

Happening Now

A look at the ‘Happening Now’ feature on Facebook. Photo courtesy of The Next Web

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