In an effort to make the newsfeed more relevant to the user, Facebook is doing away with the “Trending” label. The social media giant introduced the feature in 2014 to help users discover news topics that were popular across the Facebook community.
After an extensive study, it was found that the “Trending” label added no value to the user. The feature, which was only available in five countries, accounted for less than 1.5 percent of clicks to news publishers on average.
On Friday, the company announced that it will be doing away with the feature, and will also remove products and third-party partner integrations that rely on the Trends API.
“We’ve seen that the way people consume news on Facebook is changing to be primarily on mobile and increasingly through news video. So 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, Facebook.
Starting next week, the social media platform will introduce three new labels that will replace “trending” news. These include Breaking News, Today In, and News Video in Watch.
Breaking News Label
Facebook is running a test with 80 publishers across North America, South America, Europe, India, and Australia, which lets publishers put a “breaking news” indicator on their posts in News Feed. Simultaneously, the company will test breaking news notifications.
“As part of this test, we’ll be evaluating if breaking news stories should be incorporated into the ranking,” a company spokesperson confirmed to Recode.
The social media platform is testing another dedicated section called Today In, according to Recode. This feature connects people to the latest breaking and important news from local publishers in their city, as well as updates from local officials and organizations.
News Video in Watch
Another feature that the platform is experimenting with is “Facebook Watch,” which lets people watch live coverage and daily news briefings. For now, this feature will only be available in the U.S.
In April, after the Cambridge Analytica scandal came to light, Facebook made a few tweaks to its algorithms. The social media firm made its terms and conditions transparent and promised that it will never sell user information to advertisers.
Last month, the company tweaked its ads algorithm and made big changes to the way political content works on the platform. Facebook also made it mandatory for advertisers, who run political ads in the U.S., to verify their identity and location.