Facebook have made two important announcements today, both of which which show a step towards the ‘follower’ based services we have come to know.
New: No more limit on 5000 friends.
Fan ‘pages’ appear to be gone whilst Facebook profiles have now been revamped to act much more like regular Facebook profiles. This has been launched particularly for celebrities, brands and high profile individuals, with launch partners including U2, Obama, Oprah Winfrey, CNN and 24 more.
Profiles in general can now have unlimited friends and ‘followers’. Privacy settings are now available so you still have your intimate friends, but maintain a following on Facebook too.
New: Real Time Homepage.
Prior to today Facebook profiles were updated frequently but not in real time. On the new homepage, this will be different, your stream will show real time updates and you’ll also see a highlights widget on the right of the page featuring news from the friends you interact with the most.
The new homepage also highlights a new priority to “lists” on Facebook with your lists places to the left of the homepage – giving you far greater control over who’s news your reading.
Publisher is a new sharing tool to share content (photos, notes) onto your wall which will then appear on your Friends streams.
YES, Friendfeed users, one look at the shot to the right and you should see the similarity. Almost exactly like Friendfeed’s sharing tool – undoubtedly a bookmarklet will be on the ways soon.
To those of who who use both Twitter and Friendfeed, it should be very apparent how similar Facebook has become, grabbing trademark features from both services.
What will be interesting to see is whether features such as Twitter’s ‘followers’, Friendfeed’s real time feeds, ‘likes’ and lists combined with Facebook’s “real friend” mentality will catch on. This is an exciting time for the WWW.