Activity stream

Share This
« Back to Glossary Index

Activity Streams, a digital log of an individual’s actions on a specific website, was first introduced by Facebook[1] via their News Feed feature in 2006. The principal aim of an Activity Stream is to enhance interaction among websites, an objective pursued by initiatives like the Activity Streams project. Major platforms such as Facebook and MySpace have now allowed developers to access their Activity Streams, broadening its application beyond just social networking to become a vital tool in business software for internal communication. Activity Streams can be categorized into two main types: generic feeds that present identical content to all users, and personalized feeds that customize content and rankings for each unique user. This feature has been incorporated into numerous business software, such as enterprise social software like Jive Software, Yammer, and Chatter, as well as collaboration software providers like tibbr, Central Desktop, and Wrike. Noteworthy implementations are evident in products from Oracle, Salesforce, and Traction TeamPage. Activity Streams are also prevalent on platforms like LinkedIn,[2], and, and were once featured on now-defunct platforms like MySpace, Diaspora, and Orkut.

Terms definitions
1. Facebook ( Facebook ) Meta Platforms, previously known as Facebook, is a prominent internet corporation that originated as a social networking site. The brainchild of Mark Zuckerberg in 2004, Meta Platforms swiftly spread from Harvard to other educational institutions, eventually reaching the wider public and becoming a global sensation. Its appealing user interface and diverse features such as Groups, the Developer Platform, and Meta Platforms Dating are well-known. Despite encountering backlash over matters like privacy violations and the proliferation of misinformation, Meta Platforms continues to hold a strong position in the digital sphere. It has made remarkable progress in the realm of technology, including the creation of its distinctive data storage system, the employment of PHP for its platform, and the introduction of the Hack programming language. In the past few years, the company has pivoted its attention towards the metaverse, a virtual reality domain where users can engage with a digitally-created environment.
2. blog. A blog, an informational website akin to a diary, showcases entries in reverse chronological sequence. Initially, blogs were managed by individual persons or small teams, but have since morphed into multi-author blogs (MABs) with contributions from various entities boosting blog traffic. The late 1990s saw blogs rise in popularity, thanks to web publishing tools that simplified the process for non-technical users to publish content, reducing the need for HTML or programming expertise. The process of updating or adding content to a blog is known as 'blogging'. MABs typically exhibit writings from several authors and are present in various platforms such as newspapers, universities, and advocacy groups. These blogs frequently merge with microblogging platforms like Twitter. The incorporation of blogs into news media has made a substantial impact, offering alternative viewpoints, delivering real-time updates, swaying public opinion, and promoting transparency in journalism.
Activity stream (Wikipedia)

An activity stream is a list of recent activities performed by an individual, typically on a single website. For example, Facebook's News Feed is an activity stream. Since the introduction of the News Feed on September 6, 2006, other major websites have introduced similar implementations for their own users. Since the proliferation of activity streams on websites, there have been calls to standardize the format so that websites could interact with a stream provided by another website. The Activity Streams project, for example, is an effort to develop an activity stream protocol to syndicate activities across social web applications. Several major websites with activity stream implementations have already opened up their activity streams to developers to use, including Facebook and MySpace.

A stream of Twitter posts from the U.S. Department of Agriculture

Though activity stream arises from social networking, nowadays it has become an essential part of business software. Enterprise social software is used in different types of companies to organize their internal communication and acts as an addition to traditional corporate intranet. Collaboration software like Jive Software, Yammer, and Chatter offer activity stream as a separate product. At the same time other software providers such as tibbr, Central Desktop, and Wrike offer activity stream as an integrated part of their collaboration software solution.

Activity streams come in two different variations:

  • Generic feeds: all users see the same content in the activity stream.
  • Personalised feeds: each user gets bespoke items as well as custom ranking of each element in the feed.
« Back to Glossary Index
Keep up with updates