Wall Street Journal Social on Facebook: A First Look

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Editor column

On the left-hand side of your news feed is a column listing all the editors you are following; toward the bottom there is also a listing called "Top Three Editors"; these are the three editors across the entire app with the most readers.

Clicking on the "All" button at the top of the column next to your editors or next to the Top Three Editors will show you who today's top editors are across the entire app, the editors who you are subscribed to, a listing of the Journal’s staff and a list of your readers. From here you can manage your subscriptions by adding or removing editors including your own readers.

Your profile

As you like stories, they will show up on your editor profile page, which you can see by clicking on your name on the upper left side of the app. Your profile shows the stories you have liked, the total number of likes you have and the readers subscribed to you.

Viewing a story

Clicking on a story opens up the full article within Facebook. At the top of each page is a link to read the article on the Journal's website or you can continue to read the entire story on Facebook. The app also includes a like button at the top and bottom of each article. Clicking on the button opens up a box where you can add a comment and post a link to the story to your Facebook wall for your friends. You can also choose not to add a comment or post it by pressing the close button.

If you don't want to like the story, but want to leave a comment, there is a Facebook comment box to the right where you can share your thoughts. Once you share a comment, you are automatically subscribed to receive updates when someone comments on your post, and you can also choose to receive updates on someone else's comment by clicking "Follow Post." If you don't want to receive updates to your comment just click the "Unfollow Post" link below your comment.

At the very top of each news story is also a navigation box that allows you to click through to the next story in your editors' stream of Facebook likes instead of going back to your WSJ Social news feed.

Each story also includes an advertisement box on the right-hand side, currently taken up by the Journal's launch partners, Dell and Intel.

WSJ Social Beta is an interesting experiment in merging the social aspect of news into the world's most popular social network, but the one thing I was missing was some kind of search function to find articles. It appears you are limited to reading Journal content that others surface by either liking articles on Facebook or on the Wall Street Journal site. That being said, you can't argue with getting all Journal content for free for a limited time, so why not give it a try and let us know what you think?

Connect with Ian Paul (@ianpaul ) and Today@PCWorld on Twitter for the latest tech news and analysis.

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