Facebook adds real-time 'ticker' to overhauled news feed, donates old layout to science (video)

Facebook is about to turn your social life into an online newspaper. That's the takeaway from a new slate of changes the company unveiled yesterday, ahead of its annual f8 developer conference in San Francisco. From now on, if you log in to Facebook after a lengthy hiatus, your news feed -- much like the front page of a daily paper -- will consist of a list of "top stories," photos and updates that were posted while you were away, with each high-priority item tagged with a blue earmark. More frequent users, on the other hand, will find a list of most recent stories presented in chronological order, along with larger photos embedded directly within their news feed. The company has also introduced a new "ticker" feature that provides users with real-time updates on their friends' activity, displayed along the right-hand side of the home page. Here, you'll find the exact same updates you'd see on a real-time news feed, with the crucial difference being that you'll be able to interact with each development without missing a beat. If you see that a friend comments on a cat video, for example, you'll be able to click that item in the ticker and add your two cents, without having to navigate away from the home screen. Facebook will likely provide more details on these new features at its f8 tomorrow, but you can find more information in the demo video, after the break.