SAN FRANCISCO -- Facebook isn't waiting until its F8 developers conference Thursday to tack on new features.
The top-story function is based on who posted and the type of news (wedding, birth) shared.
"We've been experimenting with changes for a long time and think this will ensure that users do not miss out on things they care about," says Keith Schacht, product manager for Facebook's News Feed. "It makes the site more alive." The new Facebook look should be available to all of its 750 million users in a week or so, he says.
Facebook's announcement, in advance of what is expected to be a busy day at F8, is the latest broadside in its battle with Google+ for millions of consumers and -- indirectly -- advertising dollars.
Facebook is expected to fold music and next-generation video into its service.
Much is at stake financially. Facebook is expected to rake in $4.3 billion in revenue this year -- more than twice the $2 billion in 2010, according to market researcher eMarketer.
Dueling features in Facebook and Google+ have taken on the feel of a social-networking arms race, with plenty of technological tit-for-tat.
Earlier Tuesday, Google pre-empted Facebook's news with a slew of new Google+ features. It also said Google+ --is now open to everyone, after a nearly three-month closed-trial period. The most important new feature is improved search.