Facebook has been pushing a number of new features lately. Recently, I talked about a few tweaks that the social network would be making to the News Feed, but the News Feed is not the only area of Facebook that is getting tweaked. One recent report mentioned that Facebook was working on testing a new group chat feature, with hopes of competing against Google Plus’ Hangout feature and applications like WhatsApp. The new feature is supposedly called Host Chat and will be launched from the status bar to create group chats.
Another feature recently enabled by Facebook that took a cue from Twitter and Instagram was the ability for users to embed Facebook posts on their own websites and blogs. Though embedded posts must be posts that are marked as public on Facebook, the feature is being first used by news sites such as CNN, Mashable, and the Huffington Post, and will work similarly to how Twitter has allowed embedded tweets for quite some time.
In another instance of Facebook adopting ideas from its competitor Twitter, on top of hashtags and embedded posts, Facebook has also begun testing the usage of trending topics. On Twitter, trending topics allow users in certain areas to see what subjects people are talking about via their Twitter posts and now Facebook appears to want to jump on the bandwagon and add trending topics to their platform as well.
Trending topics on Facebook are being pushed out slowly, with only a small select number of users currently able to access them. It is likely that Facebook will eventually look for promoted trends as a source of income, considering Twitter charges around $200,000 per day for their promoted trends. Many of these new Facebook features seem to be pushing the social network in a direction that is further away from Facebook’s origins as a purely peer-to-peer social network and closer to its new focus as a more public forum.