By rolling out small updates over the course of a couple of weeks Facebook appeared to be preparing for something big. With the groundwork laid and less than 48 hours before its f8 developer conference Facebook has revealed a new version of the News Feed.

Before the update you would have to swap between Top Stories – a feed of stories that Facebook thought were important – and Most Recent. Facebook has merged both types of content into one feed, doing away with the two-tabbed interface.

Top Stories will be marked with a small blue triangle in the upper lefthand corner. In the opposite corner is an arrow that will display a dropdown menu of controls. You can choose to unmark as top story, hide story,or report it as spam. Additionally you’ll be able to control your subscription settings to that friend.

Facebook will try to determine how many Top Stories to display based on how recently you’ve logged in. If you check Facebook multiple times a day then most of the content in your feed will be recent. If you only log in once a week, Facebook will display the Top Stories as an overview of what you’ve missed.

The social network also added a News Ticker to the right of the screen that provides you with real-time updates on your friends’ activity. What’s great about this feature is that you can interact with the updates without navigating away from the homepage. If you see a friend comment on a video you can hover over the update and a threaded comment box will appear to the left of the ticker.

The Facebook community seems less than pleased with the changes, however. While some wish Facebook would have offered more notice about the changes, others are visibly upset. All Facebook reports that publicly visible status updates with complaints are being published at least once every ten seconds.

At the moment these changes don’t seem to affect Facebook Pages. Currently Pages updates aren’t appearing as Top Stories in the feed. It will be interesting to watch how that changes, if at all, after not logging in for a few days. It’s expected that Facebook will share more details about these changes at the f8 developers conference tomorrow.

[Via: Gizmodo, Image credit: Franco Bouly]