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Facebook is making several different announcements today, the most important one being an overhaul of the News Feed that you will see when you sign on.

Beginning next week, the News Feed will go “real time“.  As they stand now, updates are posted about every 15 minutes.

Facebook’s filtering options will also be improved so that it’s easier to see content from only the users you select in this new view.

Here is sneak peak at what the new page will look like:

new-facebook-home-page

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Facebook will also be shaking up its advertiser pages, and the page owners will have the ability to update them.

The branded profiles will also now have tabs with different kinds of content in different sections (i.e. external applications will fall under a “boxes” tab instead of residing on the primary page). Companies will then be able to configure which tab they want to serve as the main landing page for any given time period.

One gets the sense that Facebook is trying to be much more about sharing content now – and competing with Twitter to boot.

UPDATE: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg has just posted on the official Facebook blog about the changes.  From the post…

Starting today, we are announcing new profiles for public figures and organizations. Once called Pages, these new profiles will now begin looking and functioning just like user profiles. Just as you connect with friends on Facebook, you can now connect and communicate with celebrities, musicians, politicians and organizations. These folks will now be able to share status updates, videos, photos or anything else they want, in the same way your friends can already. You’ll be able to keep up with all of their activity in your News Feed. This means that you can find out that Oprah is reading a book backstage before a show, CNN posted a breaking story or U2 is working on a new song, just as you would see that your friend uploaded new photos from her trip to Europe.

We’re also going to make some changes to the home page. The new home page will let you see everything that’s shared by your friends and connections as it happens. It will also provide you more control by letting you choose exactly who you see among the people and things you are connected to. You can decide you no longer want to get updates from your old friend from high school who you rarely talk to, or you can filter the stream to only see updates about your family members. And now, if you want, you can read what President Obama is saying on the same page as your best friend. You can find out what it is your mother, your high school classmate or President Obama are doing, thinking and sharing right now just by logging into Facebook.

We’ll begin rolling out the new home page next week, so please check out our home page tour to see the new design and let us know what you think about it. This is an exciting move for us and we have more coming, so keep an eye on the blog for more updates about upcoming products.

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