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Facebook News Feed patent unearthed

It's feed-ing time for Facebook
It's feed-ing time for Facebook

A patent filed by Facebook's founders – including Mark Zuckerberg – has been validated this week which shows the company claiming the idea of a news feed as its own.

Facebook's News Feed is where the site lets its users know just what their friends are up to. Within this feed there is also the Live Feed which treads on Twitter's toes – offering live status updates of what people are up to.

This is the main problem. Sites like Twitter are essentially a news feed and MySpace, even Google, use a news feed of some sort to distribute content.

Status update

At first glance this could mean big trouble for a number of sites, if Facebook decided to coin it in when it comes to its patent.

Bu it's not as clear-cut as this. The site which unearthed the patent, All Facebook, has an update which notes that 'status updates' aren't part of the patent, merely the actions of a user's friend. For example, 'John Smith tagged an embarrassing photo of you/wrote about copping off with your mum on your wall'.

This should mean that Twitter and the like are safe but any site using an activity stream out there should be a bit worried.