Facebook Trending News section is soon to bid adieu, to make way for future news experiences.
Launched in early 2014 to help people discover popular topics across community, the Trending News section will shut down soon, primarily because the feature accounted only 1.5% of the clicks and was becoming obsolete owing to change the news consumption pattern.
Alongside, the platform will also remove third-party partnered integrations that rely on the Trends API.
Facebook believes, there has been a lateral shift and people consume news on mobile and via news videos. “We’re exploring new ways to help people stay informed about timely, breaking news that matters to them, while making sure the news they see on Facebook is from trustworthy and quality sources,” said Alex Hardiman, Head of News Products in one of the official blog.
Over 80 publishers in North America, South America, Europe, India and Australia are testing “breaking” label to news stories, making it easier for readers to identify news while scrolling through their feed. As mentioned by Recode, publishers will have the liberty to the add tags on the story for as minimal as 15 minutes to 6 hours and will be able to use the tag once in 24 hours. Currently, the breaking news tag does not raise the post in ranking or in the news feed. Facebook is also testing breaking news notifications.
As a part of Facebook’s Journalism Project initiative, the platform is also testing a new section of the app called Today In specifically for the local news. Self-identified users living in a particular area will be able to get latest breaking and important news from local publishers, as well as emergency updates from the local officials and authorities. The feature is tested in 33 cities as of now and will be soon be rolled out to others.
The company also plans to have a dedicated section on Facebook Watch for people to view live coverage, daily news and exclusive weekly deep dives.
The trending section has been a source of concern for Facebook ever since the US Elections. The algorithm also goofed up quite a few times and surfaced fake news in trending section.
“We are committed to ensuring the news that people see on Facebook is high quality, and we’re investing in ways to better draw attention to breaking news when it matters most,” the company said.
Facebook has been accused of spreading Fake News at several occasions and the removal of trending news section seems like an attempt to address the concern along with a host of other features like fact-check and others launched as an initiative.