Facebook has been approved for a news feed patent which allows them to generate a personalized story feed for users, the patent in many ways is similar to the news feed patent they received earlier in 2010.
The patent, named Generating a feed of stories personalized for members of a social network is described as:
“Systems and methods for generating dynamic relationship-based content personalized for members of a web-based social network.”
According to Mashable:
Just like the first patent, this one was also filed on August 11, 2006. Although the patent that Facebook won in February speaks more explicitly about a “news feed,” the content of both patents seems to cover similar ground.
For example, compare the following excerpts from the abstracts of the first and the second patent: “generating dynamic relationship-based content” versus “generating news items regarding activities associated with a user of a social network.”
With the new patent Facebook can pull data from relationships between two users, allowing for personalized story telling.
According to the patent the first feature reminds us of the recently announced Facebook Friendship Pages:
“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.”
Facebook doesn’t tend to sue over the use of their patents, but if they ever receive any real competition let the fireworks begin! It would be interested to see however how they would defend the idea of showing interaction on-line between users of the same website, surely a few tweaks by the infringing network would make for an interesting legal battle.