Many have probably heard, seen, or followed the news in the past few months as CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, faced hearings on Capitol Hill in April over the failed rebooting of the Trending Topics feature. This attempt at revitalizing the site’s Trending Topics led to immense amounts of controversy and the sharing of false news across the site. Even before the scandals started, the feature was not too popular among Facebook users, and according to Facebook’s blog post, it is only available in five countries, and accounted for less than 1.5 percent of clicks to news publisher on average.
Speaking of Facebook’s most recent blog post, users are being updated on the status of Trending Topics: it will be no more. Over time, the feature has become less and less useful, as people are becoming increasingly exposed to fake news and false information. Overall, Facebook was concerned with how people were receiving the news they were looking for, as the use of Facebook has changed. Facebook has become another outlet for news, as users are exposed to multiple articles and videos being shared and posted during everyday news coverage. Facebook is aware of the material being spread on the site, both true and false, so they want to explore and work on ways to bring trustworthy and quality sources to their users. By removing the Trending Topics feature, Facebook will have the ability to be more in control of the content that is circulated and seen by users in terms of news. New features, according to Facebook’s blog, will include:
- Breaking News Label –> publishers will be able to put a “breaking news” indicator on the posts in their News Feed. There will be a test run of the feature with 80 publishers across North America, South America, Europe, India, and Australia. Facebook will also be testing a breaking news notification.
- “Today I” –> this feature will work to connect people to the latest breaking and important news from the local publishers in the city in which they live, as well as updates from local officials and organizations.
- News Video in Watch –> there will be a dedicated section on Facebook Watch in the United States where people will be able to view live coverage, daily news briefings, and weekly deep dives that are exclusive to Facebook Watch.
With these changes, Facebook hopes to cater to the changing use of the site and cater to those who use the app on their smartphones for fast and accurate information concerning important events and news. As we say farewell to Trending Topics, we say hello to a new Facebook era. Looking to spread the word about your business on social media? We can help, connect with us today!