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Facebook’s News Feed now protected by patent

The U.S. Patent Office recently awarded Facebook a patent for its News Feed feature.  The patent, applied for in 2006, covers 25 claims. 

The News Feed is an integral part of social networking, which shares news update about friends. Information Week reports the description of the patent: “The method includes generating news items regarding activities associated with a user of a social network environment and attaching an informational link associated with at least one of the activities, to at least one of the news items.”

The patent also covers a process for limiting access and assigning an order to the new items.

As of now, Facebook has not made a public announcement regarding its plans for the patent.  Ownership of the update process could adversely affect social networking sites like LinkedIn or MySpace, the latter having lost much of its market to Facebook.

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