Facebook testing new "Happening Now" real-time feature on some user pages

Facebook is always testing new features and working to improve the social network and maintain its edge. MySpace quickly fell from its lead in the social networking scene years ago when it stopped innovating. The latest new feature that Facebook is testing is called the "Happening Now" sidebar. This is a bar that sits next to the users home feed and offers a glance at what it going on in their network in one place. Apparently, the new feature is in testing on a limited number of user pages right now.

The Happening Now sidebar shows things like who friends are adding as friends and shows check-ins as well. That stuff often gets overlooked in with your other feed if you have lots of active friends on your page. The idea is that the new sidebar will give the user an idea what is going on with pals and their interaction without having to navigate away from the main page. The image you see above is what the page looks like from one of the users that received the update.

Facebook has said that the update includes a small percentage of the users of the service describing the users seeing the update right now as "just a fraction of a percent." Facebook also notes as it learns more from the test it will keep making improvements and might expand the test to more people. I wonder if the service is rolled out to all users if you will have the option to use the feature or not if you don't want to.

[via TheNextWeb]