Facebook's star rises as it encourages more innovation

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Facebook has introduced a new scheme to encourage innovation within its business in the same week the social networking giant announced it had surpassed the 300 million user milestone.

Facebook Prototypes, as the new ideas hub has been branded, will let it share products and projects that perhaps may have gone unloved with the outside world, according to a blog post by the company's Lee Byron.

Users will also be invited to give feedback to creators after they've tested the new features and products.

"After activating the application, you'll see a Facebook icon next to your computer's clock that will light up with a pop-up alert whenever you receive a new notification. When you click on the notification, you'll be taken directly to the action on Facebook in a new browser window. If you want to just read the notification without going to Facebook, you can dismiss the notification by waving your mouse over it. The application also keeps track of your Facebook messages and gives you an easy way to update your Facebook status," Byron wrote.

"Other Prototypes include Recent Comments Filter, which allows you to sort your News Feed by items on which your friends have recently commented; Photo Tag Search, which enables you to find photos by the people who are tagged in them; and Enhanced Events Emails, which allows you to add a Facebook Event directly to your personal calendar in Google, Microsoft Outlook and many other calendar products with just one click."

The new prototype service will be available to all Facebook's users, of which there are now more than 300 million around the world, according to its founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg.

"It's a large number, but the way we think about this is that we're just getting started on our goal of connecting everyone," he wrote in the Facebook blog.

"Because we want to make it as easy and fast as possible for the world to connect, one of the things we think a lot about is how to make Facebook perform even faster and more efficiently as we grow. We face a lot of fun and important challenges that require rethinking the current systems for enabling information flow across the web."

Zuckerberg continued: The site we all use every day is built by a relatively small group of the smartest engineers and entrepreneurs who are solving substantial problems and each making a huge impact for the 300 million people using Facebook. In fact, the ratio of Facebook users to Facebook engineers makes it so that every engineer here is responsible for more than one million users. It's hard to have an impact like that anywhere else."

Maggie Holland

Maggie has been a journalist since 1999, starting her career as an editorial assistant on then-weekly magazine Computing, before working her way up to senior reporter level. In 2006, just weeks before ITPro was launched, Maggie joined Dennis Publishing as a reporter. Having worked her way up to editor of ITPro, she was appointed group editor of CloudPro and ITPro in April 2012. She became the editorial director and took responsibility for ChannelPro, in 2016.

Her areas of particular interest, aside from cloud, include management and C-level issues, the business value of technology, green and environmental issues and careers to name but a few.