Facebook’s Trending News section will be shutting down permanently next week. The feature, which sits to the right of the status box in Facebook’s news feed, has frequently been the subject of controversy since it was launched in 2014. An algorithm selects the trending topics based on how many stories have been posted about that topic and how users are interacting with those news items. A notification is been show under the trending panel in facebook.
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 says facebook Head of News Products, Alex Hardiman.
Now the social media giant is removing the section completely. In its place it will launch new sections called Breaking News Label, Today In and New Video in Watch.
Facebook says these three new options are in test and regarding Breaking News Label A test we’re running with 80 publishers across North America, South America, Europe, India and Australia lets publishers put a “breaking news” indicator on their posts in News Feed. We’re also testing breaking news notifications.
Today In is a dedicated section on Facebook in that connects people to the latest breaking and important news from local publishers in their city, as well as updates from local officials and organizations.
Through News Video in Watch facebook is in a attempt to have a dedicated section on Facebook Watch in the US where people can view live coverage, daily news briefings and weekly deep dives that are exclusive to Watch.
The change comes as Facebook makes a concerted effort to crack down on “fake news,” an issue that came into focus during the 2016 presidential elections. Chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg said after the elections, the company deployed artificial intelligence tools to identify fake news. It also took down 837 million pieces of spam and disabled 583 million fake accounts in the first quarter of 2018.
A study conducted from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in March 2018 has founded out that unreliable information has been a problem across social media platforms: posts on Twitter featuring fake news were 70% more likely to be retweeted than true stories.