Thursday, November 04, 2010

Another News Feed Patent Win for Facebook

FacebookFacebook has just generated a personalized feed of stories available to users of the site. The interesting thing is that Facebook won a patent for the service, which is quite similar to the news feed-related patent the social media giant was awarded earlier in the year.

The patent, lengthily named "Generating a feed of stories personalized for members of a social network", describes different methods and systems used for generating dynamic relationship-based content which is personalized for each and every member of a web-based social network.

Exactly like the first patent, this patent was filed on August 11, 2006. The patent that Facebook received back in February of this year speaks in greater detail about an actual news feed. However, the content of both patents seem to cover pretty much the same ground.

Here are two excerpts from both patents Facebook has won just to give you something to compare and contrast: "generating dynamic relationship-based content" versus "generating news items regarding activities associated with a user of a social network."

The newest patent for Facebook, on the other hand, seems to be more concerned with displaying data that stems from a relationship between two users. This excerpt from the abstract of the newly awarded patent: "At least one action of one or more members of a web-based social network is associated with relationship data for the one or more members to produce consolidated data."

This is reminiscent of one of Facebook's newest features which allows you to see all the interaction that takes place between you and another Facebook user. So far, these patents for Facebook have only been used in a defensive manner. Other companies have not been sued that have similar feed features to Facebook's. However, the mere fact that Facebook has control over these patents gives the site an immense advantage over its competitors.
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