Facebook removes ‘trending topics’ option, testing ‘Breaking News’ feature

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Facebook had a separate section named Trending Topics which worked as a collection of all trending news topics and other viral contents. However, the company has just announced the end of that section. Facebook’s official spokesperson has just confirmed that the company is shutting down the Trending Topics section in the Facebook. According to the company, the tool is very outdated and is no longer authentic. They also pointed that it has a very less amount of user base as well. At the same time, it has shown some negative compliance with FB’s new strategy against Fake news. So the company just announced the shut down of this feature.

However, Facebook is not going to remove it entirely. Because they are already testing another feature named as Breaking News. This section is very similar to the Trending Topics as it shows the most relevant original and legit breaking news stories for the users. Publishers on Facebook can add to stories to distinguish them from other chatter. Facebook also wants to make local news more prominent.

Image source: newsroom.fb.com

In an interview ahead of Friday’s announcement, Facebook’s head of news products, Alex Hardiman, said the company is still committed to breaking and real-time news. But instead of having Facebook’s moderators, human or otherwise, make editorial decisions, there’s been a subtle shift to let news organizations do so.

When Facebook launched “trending” in 2014 as a list of headlines to the side of the main news feed, it was a straightforward move to steal users from Twitter by giving them a quick look at the most popular news of the moment. It fit nicely into CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s pledge just a year earlier to make Facebook its users’ “personal newspaper.” The official announcement reads: “We’re removing Trending soon to make way for future news experiences on Facebook. We introduced Trending in 2014 as a way to help people discover news topics that were popular across the Facebook community. However, it was only available in five countries and accounted for less than 1.5% of clicks to news publishers on average. From research we found that over time people found the product to be less and less useful. We will remove Trending from Facebook next week and we will also remove products and third-party partner integrations that rely on the Trends API.”

Source FB Newsroom

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