Tonight, in a moment of rare form, as I was singing Hakuna Matata on Facebook with Krystyl Baldwin and others (an occasion one must do often) I noticed a new feature pop up before my eyes. Instantly, with no refresh of the page, my News Feed was literally singing with new comments. It appears Facebook has taken its “Recent Items” feed to a new level, introducing a very FriendFeed-like live commenting system, also similar to Facebook’s new Groups and Messages system.
I’ve mentioned frequently here that Facebook, with its FriendFeed co-founder CTO Bret Taylor, and developers such as Benjamin Golub and others from the FriendFeed team, is quickly becoming more and more “FriendFeed-like”, gradually implementing all the features that were cool about the site FriendFeed.com. One of those features was live, real-time commenting, where the comments appeared before your eyes without having to refresh the Page. The live commenting, I’ve found, increases the engagement within the conversation because one isn’t stuck waiting for an email or Facebook notification notifying them to refresh the Page and find the conversation again to continue commenting. The conversation just naturally flows, making conversation much easier.
Facebook seems to have launched this tonight, as I don’t remember seeing it before on the main News Feed. This is a feature that has been already in wide use on Facebook Groups and the new, Facebook Messaging system that launched recently. It seems natural that Facebook would extend this into other areas of the site.
It’s unclear whether this launch is just limited to a select group of users or whether this is widespread, but whatever it is I think it’s pretty cool. I’m pretty excited to not ever have to refresh my News Feed on Facebook again. Now, if we could just get FriendFeed’s search built into Facebook I’d be in Nirvana. No worries!