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Over the weekend, Facebook began testing new filters that allow users to sort their News Feed (friends’ status updates, photos, links, and wall posts) in various new ways.
Users may have noticed the new filters in the top bar amongst “Top News” and “Most Recent”. While Facebook has previously offered individual sorting options in past iterations, the new set of filters seek to give you an unprecedented control over your News Feed. Included are filters for “Games”, “Status Updates”, “Photos”, “Links”, “Pages”, and your friend lists.
The new filters attempt to turn Facebook into something more than just a way to keep up with your friends. For example, much as Facebook aggregators Flipboard and PostPost allow you to do, you can filter by Links to see those posted by friends and, in essence, turn Facebook into a Twitter or Digg-like content discovery platform.
Even beyond that, the Pages filter turns Facebook into an RSS feed reader, as Inside Facebook points out, by letting you see posts from companies, organizations and news outlets you follow (most of which, ironically, may be imported and posted automatically using RSS itself.) And with games being a juggernaut on Facebook, the Games filter is by no coincidence first on the list, showing you friends’ achievements on popular games such as Farmville and Poker.
Facebook’s pace of iteration in the past has shown that it isn’t afraid to test rapidly to find what works. While these new filters are currently being experimented with, as ReadWriteWeb’s Marshall Kirkpatrick points out, there’s no guarantee that they will go live site-wide.
VentureBeat’s VB Insight team is studying email marketing tools.
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