I'm excited to announce the launch of HuffPost Social News -- a collaboration with Facebook that connects HuffPost users to their Facebook friends, the news they are reading, and the stories they are commenting on.
When you sign up for it -- and I hope you will right now -- HuffPost Social News finds your Facebook friends who are also reading HuffPost and links you together on our site so you can dive deeper into the stories you like best. (But don't worry, you'll still have complete control over what stories and comments are shared with your friends, as well as what goes on your Facebook wall, and into your friends' news feeds. See details at end of post.)
The explosive growth of online social networking has fundamentally changed our relationship with news. It's no longer something we passively take in. We now engage with news, react to news, and share news. News has become an important element of community -- something around which we gather, connect, and converse. And we can all become part of the evolution of a story now -- expanding it with comments and links to relevant information, adding facts and differing points of view.
HuffPost Social News makes this easier and more dynamic than ever. It takes social news to a whole new level. It will turbo-charge your online conversations and connections, and allow you to build and develop a community that follows what you read and care about.
Thanks to your passion and commitment, HuffPost has an incredibly active and vibrant community. You posted over 1.7 million comments on the site last month alone -- with many stories attracting more than 10,000 comments. The one drawback: it's sometimes hard to keep up with it all.
With HuffPost Social News, you can be sure that your comments won't get lost in the mix -- and that the people you care most about will see what you have to say about the stories you love or are angered by, delivered in real time. And you'll be able to easily and immediately see who is replying to any of your comments. Of course, your comments will still appear on the full thread, so anyone reading HuffPost will be able to see them.
HuffPost Social News also taps into the other coming big trend in news: personalization. People connecting to each other using their real identities and having real conversations.
HuffPost Social News allows you to have a greater presence on our site by automatically creating personalized profile pages that keep track of all your HuffPost Social News friends -- collecting all the comments you have made and the stories you have read, as well as the comments made and stories read by your friends. Think of it as HuffPost's new digital water cooler.
HuffPost Social News is just one early piece of the social transformation of the news industry. We will be adding more social features and personalization in the coming months. The news is simply more interesting and engaging when we experience it with friends. It is an exciting change and we are thrilled to be part of it.
Sign up here to get started. And let us know what you think. HuffPost Social News is your Huffington Post.
A few notes about Social News:
What you're reading will not appear on Facebook unless you hit the "Like" button or the "Facebook Share" button.
The articles you have read and the comments you have made will only automatically show up on HuffPost -- and will be viewable only by your friends who have also joined HuffPost Social News.
If you don't want people to see a story you have viewed, you can remove it from your list of recent activity. You can also place yourself in "Stealth Mode" before you read it.
Follow Arianna Huffington on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ariannahuff