With the view to make its interface more user-friendly and give a tough fight to rival Google Plus, Facebook, this year, has rolled out scores of new features and introduced many design changes. Here are some key features introduced by Facebook this year.
Facebook lets users "subscribe" to news from other members - even those they are not friends with. In this way, users can hear from those they don't even know personally - such as celebrities or political figures.
Facebook has increased the size of photos that people post to their profiles and make them load twice as fast as before.
Facebook has also launched video calling feature on its site, thereby allowing users to make video calls. In the chat window that pops up, clicking on a small blue video icon brings up the video chat feature.
Facebook has also 'frozen' its top navigation bar. The top navigation bar is now fixed on the top of the screen even when a user scrolls down the page, it remains accessible throughout.
Now, Facebook automatically group your friends based on whether they live near you, went to your school or work with you. Users can read posts or share updates with specific groups instead of dozens, or hundreds, of "friends" at a time. Facebook will use the colleges, workplaces and geographic locations that users share on the site to organise people into groups. Called "smart lists," the feature is optional to use, and the lists are customisable.
Facebook has also rolled out another feature called 'Ticker' that allows users to chat with their friends about photos, articles and other things they are posting in real-time.
The social networking giant has also introduced improvements to its 'News Feeds', thereby letting users see the important updates on the top. Users' news are featured in a single stream with the most interesting stories featured at the top.
Facebook has also come up with another feature titled 'View Shares'. This new option, as the name suggests, allows users to see the number of people who have shared their news feeds.
Mark Zuckerberg announced the launch of the Facebook Timeline at f8 – an annual developer conference, which will make it easier for lesser mortals to build an interactive (and also collaborative) one-page autobiography. The company will periodically roll out this feature to users’ profiles, while some users have already opted for it.
Facebook now lets users sort their 'News Feeds'. Users can choose to display 'Recent Stories' on top if they wish to. However, the company has not rolled out this feature to all users' profiles. According to the company, if users don't have the updates to News Feed yet, they can expect to see them over the coming weeks as the roll out continues.