Facebook is quietly playing around with the News Feed design again

The company prototyped a tabbed News Feed that could go live in the future.

Jane Manchun Wong/Twitter

Facebook is tinkering around with the design and layout of its News Feed by emphasizing key factors in posts, like relevancy, timeliness, and other metrics. It was first spotted by intrepid reverse engineering pro, Jane Manchun Wong, and later confirmed by Facebook's Alexandru Voica in a separate tweet.

News Feed for mobile — At its root, Facebook's News Feed is categorized by its ranking algorithm. For the most part, this is a confusing formula. The ranking algorithm is indiscriminate in its categorization, meaning that it views your pity likes and sincere likes as interchangeable and shores up content to your feed accordingly. To give users more autonomy and clarity in the matter, Facebook is looking into introducing newer and arguably temporal formats.

According to Wong, mobile users may soon see a tabbed version of their News Feed, which would allow users to organize their feed according to Most Relevant, Most Recent, and Already Seen. This is what it would look like.

Not a bad idea — Back in 2013, Facebook tried a similar experiment with its News Feed, though it was recanted later on. The idea was to let Facebook denizens explore their News Feed via sidebar options that would let them select photos, songs, friends, and other relevant subjects. The prototype spotted by Wong proves that Mark Zuckerberg's crowd is still working with new formats.

If this one goes live, it could make your News Feed a lot more dynamic and active; you can return to posts otherwise lost in the abyss of your timeline and access content important to you in real time. The company probably has monetary reasons for trying a new format as it could increase ad views. But if it actually fixes our News Feeds, it doesn't seem like a bad idea.