Facebook tests Twitter-like real-time update feature

Facebook is dabbling with a Twitter-like feature that alerts members in real time to what their friends are up to on the social network.

The feature, reportedly called “Happening Now,” is being tried by a “fraction of a percent” of Facebook’s more than 600 million members, according to the world’s leading online social network.

“We are currently testing a feature within News Feed that gives people the ability to see what their friends are commenting on and ‘liking,’ as these actions are being taken on Facebook,” the California company said.

“In the coming weeks, as we learn more from this test, we’ll keep making improvements and may expand it to more people.”

The feature was seen by some as a potential challenge to global microblogging service Twitter, which lets people share what they are thinking, doing, or seeing instantly in messages of 140 or fewer characters.

The new Facebook feature for now apparently alerts people to what friends are doing at the social network.

According to TheNextWeb, a “Happening Now” sidebar will sit on the right side of a user’s feed, displaying real-time updates below the dedicated spots for advertising, giving users the chance to see how their connections are interacting with one another without having to navigate away from their main feed.

Here is a screenshot from one user who received the update:


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