The patent -- dubbed "Generating a feed of stories personalized for members of a social network" -- was filed on Aug. 11, 2006. At the time, Facebook and Microsoft had formed a strategic relationship for banner ad syndication, a Notes application was introduced and the Facebook development platform launched, according to Facebook's official timeline. In December 2006, Facebook reached 12 million active users; today, it has more than 500 million account-holders, according to the company.
Inventors named in the patent, filed by Fenwick & West LLP, include Andrew G. Bosworth, Chris Cox, Ruchi Sanghvi, Thyagarajapuram Ramakrishnan and Adam D’Angelo.
Facebook filed its patent application one month before it debuted the News Feed and Mini-Feed in September 2006, the company's timeline shows. At that time, Facebook said that as the user base grew, Facebook needed a way to organize users' important information, especially if it involved multiple people.
What is claimed is: "A method for generating a personalized story for a viewing user of a social network, comprising: storing actions performed by one or more users of a social network; accessing relationship data for the one or more users, the relationship data specifying relationships between users in the social network; associating at least one action with at least one user to produce consolidated data, wherein the consolidated data for each of a plurality of actions identifies at least an action and a user of the social network who performed the action; identifying one or more elements associated with the consolidated data; aggregating consolidated data having one or more common elements to produce aggregated consolidated data, wherein the aggregated consolidated data identifies at least an action associated with a common element, a user of the social network who performed the action, and one or more other users of the social network who also performed an action associated with the common element; generating a story personalized for the viewing user, wherein the story comprises at least a description of the action, the user who performed the action, and the one or more other users who also performed an action associated with the common element; and sending the story for display to the viewing user," according to the patent filing papers.
In February, Facebook received a patent for "dynamically providing a news feed about a user of a social network." Inventors named on that patent include Mark Zuckerberg, Ruchi Sanghvi, Andrew Bosworth, Chris Cox, Aaron Sittig, Chris Hughes, Katie Geminder and Dan Corson.