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This article was published on December 22, 2015

Facebook may soon alert you to friends with new posts, because who has time for news feeds

Facebook may soon alert you to friends with new posts, because who has time for news feeds

Most of us have upward of hundreds of Facebook friends, but it’s virtually impossible to see all of their updates thanks to news feed ads, sponsored posts and constant shares of viral videos and tagged photos. If you’ve ever wondered what’s happening with your friends on Facebook lately, it looks like the site may soon tell you when your closest friends have new wall posts.

I spotted this small design change last night on my own Web profile. Below your bio on the left hand side where nine random friends are featured, I noticed blue dots appeared under the names of friends with new posts. The text also indicate how many new posts you’ve missed.

facebook friend updates
Looks like Facebook prioritizes my The Next Web colleagues.

It’s worth noting that three of the four friends that showed up with the blue update dots are Facebook verified profiles.

Facebook prioritizes the content in your newsfeed using a combination of your own set preferences and how often you visit a friend’s page or engage with them. It’s a touch stalker-y to know that Facebook logs the last time you visited a friend’s page to casually alert you when something new’s come up; however, I do see this being useful for fan pages or verified accounts of celebrity users.

I am curious, too, how it knows whether or not I’ve actually seen a friend’s update just because it appeared on my news feed – it’s easy to quickly scroll past posts and miss them entirely.

Facebook tests a lot of stuff, so we’ve contacted the company for comment on whether this feature will roll out for all users. We’ll update if we hear back.

Update: Facebook has responded with the following statement:

“We want to make it easier to see when your friends have new posts on Facebook. This is a test of a new feature that will allow you to browse the latest updates from your friends.”

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