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I noticed that recently Facebook recently changed the friends who liked this feature on the News Feed. Before, it would show all your friend's names such as Friend A, Friend B, and Friend C like this. Now, it just shows 3 people like this and when you click on it the list is fetched via AJAX. Before, this only happens when a lot of people like something, but now it happens when at least 2 friends like something.

Out of curiosity, did Facebook do this to make the user experience more uniform or is it for scalability reasons?

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You may need to recheck your observation, the Friend A display is your personalized experience while "3 people like this" is the aggregated count of people you do not know. I just checked and was able to see four friends' names plus and an aggregated count of those people I did not know. – phwd Aug 1 '10 at 11:00

Facebook will show the names of up to 3 people that you're friends with, and the rest just show up as "X people like this." :D

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This has not much to do with scalability. It's just a basic rule of user interface design to not display too much information at once. Instead, facebook provides an overview with the option (via clicking) to display the details. This is a sensible solution, and it is employed by most mature web applications.

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Probably just a way to handle items that are liked by dozens to hundreds of people- showing a block that big without being asked would be annoying when you just want to skim the feed.

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