Facebook has been lately introducing many changes on the platform. One trending story in this wave change is about the ‘Trending News’ section which will be discontinued soon. This is said to happen because of the poor performance of Trending News section. This section has seemingly garnered less than 1.5% clicks to publishers, on an average.
The Trending Section is scrapped and along with it all the third-party integrations that relied on the Trends API. According to the research conducted by Facebook, people found it to be not that useful overall. The company said that the content in the Trending topics section accounted for fewer clicks. This, in turn, has made it a redundant space for a platform so huge where every inch of space matters.
Alex Hardiman, Facebook’s head of News Products reached out to the masses regarding the scrapping of Trending News section. He did it through Facebook’s news blog. This is what he had to say, “We’ve seen that the way people consume news on Facebook is changing to be mobile and increasingly through news video. So we’re exploring new ways to help people stay informed. This is done with timely, breaking news that matters to them. At the same time, we ensure the news they see is from trustworthy and quality source.”
Will there be a replacement?
Scrapping the Trending News section means that there is now a distinct vacant spot. Therefore, what would come instead is a valid question one could get. As mentioned by Alex Hardiman, the site is now “exploring” new ways to present news to the masses. This might be a nod in the direction of “Breaking News”, which would be a label indicating news headlines. Facebook is also in the process of testing a “Today In” section. This would enable the users to pull up the latest breaking news from local publishers, organisations and officials. This would put you in a complete awareness zone regarding all that is occurring around you.
Facebook is also referencing to a dedicated section for Video News coverage to replace this section. This is where people would be able to view news coverage and watch daily news. They can update themselves with the latest happenings, with access to exclusive video coverage.
Why the need for the change?
The Trending Section has been on the site since 2014. Users were able to discover happenings with the latest news across the world. It spanned various news sections like Entertainment, Politics, Sports, etc.
In 2016, however, the platform was accused of curating news, which was seen as politically biased. This “biased approach” was said to govern the news presented to users. This, in turn, was altering the mindsets of people. They were led to believe things through desired perspectives instead of giving them an overview and letting them base self-opinions. This had resulted in the removal of descriptions of news and only the headlines started showing up.
Come 2018, and the Trending section encounters a whip of change. How effective would this update be is something we will find out in the months to come.