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Facebook adds more real-time functions

Facebook today announced several (and somewhat big) changes to their homepage/newsfeed, as well as the removal of most distinctions between public pages and profiles. These changes are an attempt to take on Twitter, which Facebook failed to acquire late last year. Facebook has always been the proponent of a more interactive web, but the growing popularity of Twitter has shifted the focus from mere interactivity to a more real-time web. Real-time web, as we’ve argued in the past, is the next logical step in the Internet’s evolution. Twitter currently leads this move to a “now web,” but today Facebook took steps to becoming a real-time web company, though it has a ways to go. For starters, Facebook announced changes to its home page that would allow streaming of “posts from your friends in real-time.” Facebook also changed the status prompt from “What are you doing right now?” to “What’s on your mind?” — a blatant attempt to prompt a more real-time interaction, and bringing it one step further than Twitter’s “What are you doing?”

In another move that mimics the Twitter functionality, Facebook announced that from now on there will no longer be a limit to the number of friends a user can have (the previous limit was 5,000). There will also no longer be Facebook “Pages;” everyone will have profiles instead. In the past, Facebook avoided this type of interaction, opting to classify users as fans, and hampering the levels of interaction. Twitter’s growth has been astounding; it has managed to capture the hearts and minds of users and developers alike: In 2008, Twitter grew by 752 percent. Twitter has also fostered a somewhat more democratic ecosystem, one that has allowed apps on the platform to see huge growth in traffic. That has sparked a gold rush for app developers, many of whom have been frustrated by the restrictions handed down to them by Facebook.

Source: CNN


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  1. OsT
    March 5th, 2009 | 12:43

    real time-function on DEEZ nutz.
    Facebook = Law enforcements best friend.
    Same as Google Earth

  2. chelmsley
    March 5th, 2009 | 12:55

    Martin: will you please stop these stupid adds that take over the whole page out of nowhere? Not the ones that give you the option to "click to view the next page" but the ones that just now popped up twice while i was typing this and took over the whole page. Its annoying, annoying enough for people to stop coming here.

  3. Failbook
    March 5th, 2009 | 13:17

    How about real life functions instead of these lame real-tme functions on failbook.

  4. angrybob
    March 5th, 2009 | 14:04

    @3. im not seeing the same adds as you mate…
    try firefox with addblock plus addon….

    i havent seen an add since…

  5. Kingster
    March 5th, 2009 | 14:06

    Ive got Firefox on with the addblock plus and Ive just had a popup…

  6. angrybob
    March 5th, 2009 | 14:07

    these types of posts are what keep me
    coming back to this site… instead of
    the hundreds of other sites with similar

  7. Chelmsley
    March 5th, 2009 | 14:18

    ive got firefox running, not addblock but i will. But its so damn strange these adds. They take over the damn page.

  8. Darcy
    March 5th, 2009 | 14:21

    I had a problem with the ads too. Switched to Firefox and now they're gone.

    Oh yeh and keep the Facebook news coming. It rocks.

  9. B005T3R
    March 5th, 2009 | 14:25

    Here is some news for you regarding Facebook:


  10. Otto
    March 5th, 2009 | 15:01

    @5: Kingster – Ooooh! naughty thoughts eh? LOL!

  11. Only one?
    March 5th, 2009 | 15:07

    Am I the only one that doesn't use Facebook?

    I made an account a long while back and the only time I even log into it, is if my cousin sends me a message (so like 3 times in the last year or two)

    Oh and, regarding the Firefox ads comments…..I also run adblock plus and haven't seen a rogue ad in months. Sorry to website owners, but when you can make ads that aren't intrusive (only thing that comes to mind is that doesn't really bother me is IntelliTXT ads)

  12. ads
    March 5th, 2009 | 16:48

    all you guys talking about ads, have u tried using noscript add on fingie on firefox, i get no pop-ups with that

  13. bob
    March 5th, 2009 | 17:47

    F*$! FACEBOOK!

  14. DaLoon
    March 5th, 2009 | 19:42

    Used AD-Muncher it blocks all best app for blocking ads i have ever used, as for facebook i no see them changes yet ? still same here

  15. Cpt. Obvious
    March 5th, 2009 | 20:33

    Stage 6 had real-time updates for 2 years before shutdown.

    Which means that they did the same thing 3 years ago that Facebook is doing NOW. Sad.

    I miss that place

  16. Thomas
    March 5th, 2009 | 22:40

    @6 angrybob

    I agree with you. I LOVE this site. I regularly browse the tech sites (engadget, gizmodo, broadbandreports) but had no idea facebook was making this change. So Martin, thank you.

    Maybe it's because I'm in my late 20s, but I just don't get why so many ppl feel it's okay to share sooo much info about themselves on a public site (yes, I know, you can make your profile private, but most aren't doing that). I've seen major and personal discussion go back and forth on wall-to-wall. It just amazes me how ppl are just so oblivious to the amount of info they share.

    /rant off

  17. jason07
    March 6th, 2009 | 00:26

    I use google chrome and Ive never had a pop up ad here.
    Plus its heaps better than firefox anyway :p

  18. orange
    March 6th, 2009 | 21:47

    fuk facebook

    fuk twitter

    if u feel u need to talk about what you´re doing then you aren´t doing anything anyway

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