Facebook Happening Now Feature

Facebook is engaged in limited testing of a new feature known as the Happening Now sidebar and the beta sidebar alerts offers comprehensive status updates in real-time, including what their friends are sharing, who they are friending, along with other status updates in real-time.The Happening Now toolbar sits to the right of a user’s newsfeed and scrolls through updates in real-time, automatically refreshing and emphasized by past previously launched features like real-time commenting…………


Facebook is currently testing a new version of the news feed that displays liking and commenting activity by a user’s friends in real time and it’s odd that it would show up directly next to the most recent feed. Docked to the right hand side of the screen, it displays real-time updates from your friends, such as wall posts, comments and check-in information, allowing users to see how their friends are interacting with one another all from the main screen. However, users have taken to Twitter to blow the whistle on a major bug with the feature not fully rolled out to the 700 million users, involving friends permissions.


European regulators are looking into Facebook’s method of delivery on the facial recognition features made available to users on Tuesday. Three users, @dezinezync, @benjacob and @hackatac who discovered the bug, explained to me on Twitter the implications:

“Say a user’s photos are viewable to friends only, and this user is not in my friends list. If a friend of mine comments on the photo of that user, I can see it from the ‘Happening Now’ feed.”


There appears to be a permissions error where those who are not in their friends list can see photos of people, even though the album is restricted to who can see it. Effectively, if your Facebook privacy settings are not locked down, it’s a “wild west scene for all to see”, another discovering user described. For now, you can limit this bug by setting your permissions on Facebook to ‘friends only’, as it is unclear how far this bug spreads, or whether it goes beyond photos only. Facebook told The Next Web:

“We are currently testing a feature within the news feed that gives people the ability to see what their friends are commenting on and liking, as these actions are being taken on Facebook.

This test includes a small percentage of Facebook users, just a fraction of a percent. In the coming weeks, as we learn more from this test, we’ll keep making improvements and may expand it to more people.”


While this is not yet a fully rolled-out feature only featuring on a select number of profiles this permissions error is indicative of a permissions error which could fall deeper into the site. Spokesperson Jaime Schopflin told me that Facebook refutes this ‘bug’, and that “this is how photos work”. “When a person tags their friend in a photo, the photo is posted to their friend’s Wall where their friends can see it.” Users can disable this feature by unchecking the “Let friends of people tagged in my photos and posts see them” option in the main Facebook privacy settings.



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This Post Has 50 Comments

  1. Appealnow

    I can’t see the 9 friends online anymore or contact them for chat. When I click the chat box it actually takes me back to the prior web page. What idiots thought this is an improvement? Go back to the old tried and true. Chat has become useless. The only thing I can do is search, but what if I can’t think of the friend’s name or I haven’t chatted with them and seeing their name and icon prompts me to want to say hello.I want the old way of chatting; this is impossible to use.

  2. Unclebutch

    WHAT THE HELL IS FB THINKING! I have 4300 friends and i have to wait for one of them to scroll by to contact them? I WANT MY CHAT LIST BACK!

  3. Anne-Marie Gosser

    I hate the happening now in the sidebar. I want my events and calendar back in that spot. I don’t need a scrolling duplicate of my newsfeed.  

    Is there any way to get rid of this thing?

  4. Sibylle

    Weird, the annoying sidebar emerged yesterday, no Happening Now updates, just the chat sorted in this bizarre way. Today it’s gone and the old chat is back! I hope it stays that way…

  5. 'Ani Yo

    How do i get rid of this stupid piece of s### talk about an invasion of privacy facebook!!! I say if we want to hide our Recent Activity then we should be able to do it!!! Developers are all IDIOTS!!!Perhaps this is a LAW SUIT waiting to happen??? … another pist off KIWI

  6. msmolly

    I hate it. Once again Facebook has dropped a “feature” onto unsuspecting users with no warning and no way to hide or disable it. This will drive me to Google+ quicker than anything so far.

  7. takimaru

    I DON’T like the new feature. This is very annoying! I totally hate it. I don’t want my post/comments to be broadcast.

  8. Sfb

    Install AdBlock. Now the fb stalkers will find this glitch and block it.

  9. Louiethepitt

    6 more reasons to change to google plus!
    1) happening now sidebar broadcasting all to everyone is an intrusion…
    2)facebook video calls (in your face annoying people calling you when you are in the middle of something else)
    3)Chats being uploaded to inbox
    4)inbox msg warning not appearing after you refresh the page (not knowing that you have a msg)
    5)Chat bar displaying all your contacts why? (who wants to chat with people disconnected?)
    6)Chat bar without a scroll bar (only showing a few people connected… so you have to guess who is connected)
    facebook less is more!

  10. Laney69

    that can be done if your using mozilla or chrome. Chrome Settings >> Tools >> Extensions >> type this in search –> “Facebook Chat Sidebar Disabler” 
    happeee got back my old version of chat box… :):) 

  11. Laney69

    Chrome Settings >> Tools >> Extensions >> type this in search –> “Facebook Chat Sidebar Disabler” hapieee got back my old version of chat box… :):) nly if ua chrome or mozilla users..

  12. insane_insanity

    I feel like a stalker. A lot of my friends don’t have privacy settings. I could honestly care less about who commented on who’s status or photo. 

  13. MSBR

    I don’t have a search feature for my extensions.  What other option is there?

  14. 71Demon

    Is there anyway to disable the annoying Facebook ticker and get my friends birthdays back?

  15. Salonepekin1

    It’s still there. The funny thing is the last time I was able to take it out, now it’s back and I can’t seem to find a way to deactivate it. It’s getting annoying and I can see what my friends’ commented on other people (who aren’t my friends) statuses. Time to delete my facebook account.

  16. Mm

    Now it’s called Ticker. Had it for about 30 minutes. The only way not have it was to use IE without the compatibilty view option on. Adblock on Firefox didn’t block it so sent a report to them. Maybe they’ll find a fix.
    And now it’s gone. Just like that :).
    There were some other thing which made the whole thing worse. The Events had been changed too.Usually there’s a cross on the right uppers side which let’s you delete the event. This was gone. So in order to remove mself from the event I actully had to go to the facebook page and change from “attending” to not attending.
    And there was no way to disable the ticker. There was no simple option, like a cross on the upper right side to disable it. Or n link to lead you to some options to disable it. This s*it just kept rolling and rolling automatically. There’s a bit too much info on my FB page already and I don’t care about this feature. It’s overloading the screen. Plus it reminds me of the early days of blogs when everybody had to make an entry when they ate breakfast and when they went to the toilet. And I hate that. Just that now it’s becoming automatic.
    If this will become a default feature in the future I WILL switcho over to Google+ as soon as I can.

  17. Mm

    I guess they’re just testing it as mine just dissapeared automatically and hasn’t returned. Awful thing though.

  18. margaret bevans

    I want that ticker taken off my page and return to the old way,it is horrible turning me off fcb

  19. Natakoerber

    I  hate this feature. It is invasive and I want it removed.

  20. NYX

    I hate this feature it is an invasion of privacy. I don’t want everybody seeing want I am doing??? And I am not particularly interested in seeing what games my friends are playing. Remove it? This is a sure way to get me closing my account.

  21. Guest

    How can I make my activities NOT appear on my friends’ tickers?

  22. herve leger

    Amazing write-up! This could aid plenty of people find out more about this particular issue. Are you keen to integrate video clips coupled with these? It would absolutely help out. Your conclusion was spot on and thanks to you; I probably won’t have to describe everything to my pals. I can simply direct them here!

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