Facebook confirms it’s testing a new feature that combines Stories and News Feed posts in one swipeable carousel
- Facebook is testing a carousel that combines posts from Stories and News Feed
- Users would be able to swipe through content or tap left to right in a carousel
- Firm said it’s in the very early stages of testing and the tool may not be released
Facebook could radically transform how users interact with content on the site.
The social media giant is testing a new feature that combines posts from the News Feed and Facebook Stories into a single, swipeable carousel at the top of your dashboard, according to eagle-eyed app researcher Jane Manchun Wong.
Instead of scrolling from top to bottom through the Feed, users would swipe through content or tap left to right.
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Facebook has confirmed that it’s testing a new feature that combines posts from the News Feed and Facebook Stories into a single, swipeable carousel at the top of your dashboard
A Facebook spokesperson told TechCrunch that the firm isn’t testing the feature publicly and it’s still in the very early stages of development.
The spokesperson added that Facebook still needs to do more user research before it begins testing the feature more broadly.
As with any test, it’s unclear if the carousel will actually come to fruition.
In a GIF posted by Wong, photos and videos posted to Facebook Stories can be seen interspersed between News Feed posts like articles shared by their friends, profile picture updates and other photos.
Wong also explained that sponsored posts from advertisers would also be featured in the new carousel.
This would create a more robust stream of advertising revenue for Facebook, especially as it tackles the post-News Feed era.
In a GIF posted by software engineer Jane Manchun Wong, photos and videos posted to Facebook Stories can be seen interspersed between News Feed posts like articles shared by their friends, profile picture updates and other photos
Wong also explained that sponsored posts from advertisers would also be featured in the new carousel. This could create a more robust stream of advertising revenue for Facebook
At Facebook’s annual F8 developer conference last year, Facebook said it predicts Stories will surpass feeds as the primary mode of sharing on social apps sometime this year.
Facebook Stories now counts 300 million daily active users, while Instagram Stories has racked up some 500 million active users.
It comes as Facebook has slowly started to pivot away from the News Feed and toward private, encrypted messaging.
Earlier this year, it was revealed that the company intends to integrate the chat functions of its ‘family of apps,’ which include Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp and Messenger.
While still in the early stages, it would allow users to message one another across all of the apps in a secure format.
Many have suggested that this could mean the end of the News Feed, one of Facebook’s core features.
HOW FACEBOOK PRIORITIZES FRIENDS IN YOUR NEWS FEED
Up until now, Facebook has prioritized material that its algorithms think people will engage with through comments, ‘likes’ or other ways of showing interest.
But 33-year-old founder Mark Zuckerberg says he wants to change the focus to help users have ‘more meaningful social interactions.’
The move follows his resolution in 2018 to ‘fix’ the site.
It is also in response to criticism that Facebook and its social media competitors reinforce users’ views on social and political issues.
Critics also say sites like Facebook lead to addictive viewing habits.
Zuckerberg cited research that suggests reading ‘passively’ on social media was damaging for people’s mental health, while interacting proactively with friends was positive.
According to Adam Mosseri, Facebook’s New Feed boss, in practice the change mean
- Posts from friends and family will get more prominence that video, news, and other content from formal Facebook pages, such as companies and celebrities
- The number of comments on a post will count more than the number of Likes
- Posts where people have spend the time to write lengthy comments will be prioritized over those with only short comments
- While, news and video will still appear in News Feed, the number of friends sharing it will matter more than its overall popularity
The shift could mean that the time people spend on Facebook and some measures of engagement would go down in the short term.
However, Zuckerberg said it would be better for users and for the business over the long term.