Emil was a reporter for The Next Web between 2012 and 2014. Over the years, he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, incl Emil was a reporter for The Next Web between 2012 and 2014. Over the years, he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars Technica, Neowin, TechSpot, ZDNet, and CNET. Stay in touch via Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.
Facebook is testing at least two new features in its News Feed: Upcoming Events and Recently Released Albums, though it won’t go into detail on either of them. “We’re always testing new features,” a Facebook spokesperson told TNW. “We have nothing further to share at this time.” When prodded to ensure that this statement was indeed in reference to both features, the Facebook spokesperson confirmed that yes, it was.
Since we can’t rely on Facebook to detail what might be coming, we have to go to the next best thing. All Facebook found the Upcoming Events feature, so let’s start there. It builds on the “upcoming concerts” trial discovered last month, and lists nearby events, whether you were invited to them or not.
Hovering over the question mark in the top-right-hand corner of the module explains why this is: “Suggestions based on what’s happening nearby.” This is already shown in Facebook’s calendar feature, but now it’s also in the News Feed.
Here’s how the feature looks:
The music-related module highlights one recently released album by an artist that a user has listened to on Spotify, or presumably any other music service linked to the social network. Users can click through to stream the album through Spotify, according to Inside Facebook.
Here’s how it looks:
Both new features shows Facebook is experimenting with News Feed stories that do not come directly from your friends or Pages you follow, and aren’t Sponsored ads either. They’re similar to the trending articles and trending videos that we’ve seen in the past.
If Facebook adds these modules in a way that users find useful, it could increase engagement on the social network yet again. If not, the company could further annoy users with more useless content in their News Feed. In short, it’s a careful balancing act, as it always is for Facebook. Hence why this is a test.
Image credit: Ezran Kamal
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