Facebook pulls 'Trending' to try new approaches to news

Facebook killing controversial ‘Trending’ feature, breaking news alerts and more coming

Trending stories, which reported popular news topics similar to the Twitter Trends feature, was introduced in 2014 for Australian, US, UK, Indian and Canadian users.

The Trending section was available in five countries but didn't do much for news publishers, according to a Facebook announcement.

SAN FRANCISCO, June 2 ― Facebook today said it is getting rid of a "trending" topics feature as it tests ways for publishers to deliver reliable breaking news.

A Facebook Watch zone for online video viewing will soon get a news section complete with live coverage, daily briefings, and "deep dives", he added. During CEO Mark Zuckerberg's recent hearings before the US Congress and European Union parliament, purported prejudice against conservative-leaning posts was repeatedly brought up by lawmakers. They are Breaking News Label, Today In and News Video in Watch.

"People tell us they want to stay informed about what is happening around them", Hardiman said.

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Effective next week, "trending" will be removed from Facebook, as well as products and third-party partner integrations that rely on the Trends API.

Facebook is set to kill its "trending" news section next week after four years and is testing a new breaking news feature that could replace it. Trending represents on average under 1.5% of clicks to news distributers.

Mumbrella understands Facebook's Australian office does not employ local staff to curate Trending Stories and has contacted the company for comment.

In early 2017, Facebook made another attempt to fix the trending section, this time by including only topics covered by several news publishers.

Facebook appears to have concluded trying to fix the headaches around trending was not worth the meagre benefits the company, users and news publishers saw in it. The company has not yet revealed the criteria they used to select the 80 publishers now testing the breaking news label, nor whether the feature will eventually be rolled out to all major news publications. These efforts will be funded by Facebook itself, the company said. It's the company's latest move to reform how it shows users news.

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