According to All Facebook, the unofficial Facebook resource site, the social network has this week been awarded a patent for: “Dynamically providing a news feed about a user of a social network.”
Essentially it includes the generation of feed stories followed by the limiting of viewers of those stories. As many avid followers of the social networking space know, the feed (also called the “stream”) has become one of the central components of online social activity.
A post on Mashable looks at the possible impact of this patent on other social networks and their news feeds, suggesting:
If Facebook can make news feed a Facebook-only feature, then it drains the usefulness of countless social networks while boosting its own. However, the process of exercising that patent would get very ugly, and we’re not sure if Facebook has a lot of incentive to jump into the snake pit and incur that type of PR damage.