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Refresh alerts come to Facebook's home page 'stream'

A link will now pop up when your friends have posted new items since the last time you reloaded your Facebook home page.

Right at the top of my Facebook home page, it now lets me know when there are new items from my friends that I can see if I refresh the page. Facebook

Well, this is helpful. On Friday evening I noticed that my Facebook home page was displaying a "Show (number) new posts" alert after I left the site open for a while and some of my friends have posted new status messages, links, or what-have-you. This is something that had been notably missing when Facebook debuted its redesigned, "stream"-focused home page this spring.

It looks like this went live earlier this week, per Facebook's official blog, but it doesn't appear to have rolled out on everyone's accounts immediately (I tend to leave a Facebook window open all day, and I hadn't gotten alerts until now).

Facebook says this was one of the most-requested features from users when it rolled out its new design. The social network calls it "auto refresh," but the term is a little misleading--it won't actually keep refreshing your home page (thank goodness), but it'll give you the option to do so.

This is the same kind of "reload alert" that you'll see on a Twitter Search query or on other interfaces like the Tumblr Dashboard--but thus far, not on itself, the interface that most people point to as the chief inspiration for Facebook's new home page design.

That's probably not a huge priority for Facebook, though. Most avid users access Twitter with a third-party app, something that you'll be able to do more widely with Facebook very soon.

You may now commence making snide remarks about the fact that my Friday nights consist of noticing new features on Facebook's home page.

This post was updated at 9:12 p.m. PDT.