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Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 09/22/2011

f8: Facebook redesign, new features expected

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will give a keynote at this years f8 developers conference at 1 p.m., Eastern. (Justin Sullivan - GETTY IMAGES)
Facebook has been making a series of changes to its service, adding features and retooling old ones in an effort to stay on top of the social network heap. And the network is expected announce even more changes at its f8 developers conference this afternoon when Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg delivers his keynote speech to kick off the conference at 1 p.m. Eastern.

As is standard for Facebook, some of the changes have met with resistance, such as the site’s changes to the News Feed and its real-time ticker, or the network’s decision to enlarge the size of its on-site chat client. Other changes, such as giving users more granular control over privacy, adding video chats through a partnership with Skype and putting in a Twitter and Google+-like “Subscribe” button have generally been met with approval from users who’ve wanted to see Facebook become a more interactive social platform.

What all these features have aspired to do is make it easier for users to spend long periods of time on the site by lowering the barriers to connecting with friends in real-time and delivering more tailored content. Today’s announcements are expected to do the same.

All Things Digital’s Liz Gannes reported that the official motto of the conference is said to be “Read. Watch. Listen.” That fits in well with the three biggest product rumors that have bubbled up ahead of the conference.

First up: Read. Facebook is said to be launching a news reader of some kind. The news feed has already been made to act as a users’ “personal newspaper” and there have been reports of the site working with major news organizations to deliver social networking versions of their content. Forbes’ Jeff Bercovici reported in July that the first editions would arrive in September-- perfect timing for f8.

Rumor also has it that Facebook will launch a multimedia music service with partners including Spotify, MOG and Rdio, which will make it easy to sign onto streaming music services with a single click, and show a scrolling feed of what a users’ friends are listening to, the Guardian reported.

As for the “Watch” component, the Guardian also reported that Facebook could be partnering with video site Vevo and other online video services to launch a similar platform for videos and movies.

Facebook is also expected to put e-commerce front and center, Mashable reported, with a new site design that will prominently feature Facebook Credits. Meanwhile, TechCrunch reported that there will be some new siblings for the Like button — including a “Want” button at some point down the line.

If these speculations are true, Facebook is poised to become a one-stop site for world news, shopping, entertainment and, of course, personal news.

Stay tuned to The Post for f8 coverage as the day continues.

Disclaimer: Washington Post Co. Chairman and Chief Executive Donald E. Graham is a member of Facebook’s board of directors.

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By  |  06:00 AM ET, 09/22/2011

Tags:  Social Networking, Facebook

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