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Facebook tests Pinterest-like design for news-feed app stories

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Inside Facebook

Facebook is testing a new layout for Open Graph app stories in the news feed that looks very, very familiar. In fact, some would say it directly rips off the quickly growing Pinterest, which, by the way, also sports the new look since the social network offers its own Timeline integration.

The new design gives app stories more space on your news feed, and further emphasizes commenting and Liking, as well as custom interaction. For example, if your Facebook friend or someone you subscribe to on Facebook uses an app to favorite more than just one item, the new design lets you comment on, and Like, each of them, not just the whole Facebook story.

Inside Facebook, which first spotted the feature, notes developers can also leverage app-specific actions in the news feed. When you hover over a photo, you can comment on the item, or perform an in-app action without leaving Facebook (if the app has custom action links). For example, if you click on a Foodspotting story, you can also "Want a dish" directly from your news feed, in addition to commenting on and Liking it. Clicking on a photo takes you to the third-party app page or Web site.

As with any new feature, Facebook is making this one available only to select users. It's still being tested. For now, the new look is being used only for apps that are heavily photo-based, and again it's just a test. That being said, the tweak may never end up being rolled out to the whole social network.

Still, the advantages are clear. Users benefit with a more visual news feed that's even more interactive. Developers benefit from the additional options, promotion, and traffic.

I've contacted Facebook about this change and will update this post if I hear back.