Facebook is testing a new home page design that allows the news feed to be scrolled independently of the rest of the page. This allows ads, app bookmarks, and the top navigation bar to remain visible no matter how many news feed stories a user scrolls through.
The tested design, if implemented, could increase click through rates for advertisers, improve user retention for applications, and make the site easier to browse.
As you can see in the image above, a user has scrolled down the news feed, but his top and side navigation bars remain visible.
Last week Facebook began testing with a very small number of users a new real-time feed called Happening Now in the right sidebar where Upcoming Events are usually listed. We discussed how this design could extend time on site and draw in users who were just checking their notifications by increasing the frequency with which fresh content appears above the home page’s fold.
The latest incarnations of the test, though, show the Most Recent news feed (called “Neueste Meldungen” in the German version of the site, above) as a second segment of the Top News feed. This could come as a shock to users who developed browsing behaviors around the current two-tabbed news feed, but the Facebook home page hasn’t seen a major redesign in 16 months, so it’s about due for an update given Facebook’s fast-paced approach to iterating on products.