Facebook Kills Off Trending Topics Feature

Facebook Is Killing Off Its Trending News Section

Trending was only available in a handful of countries, and accounted for a paltry fraction of clicks through to news publishers, according to Hardiman.

The Facebook logo is seen at the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York's Times Square.

The Trending feature introduced four years ago listed stories buzzing on Facebook at any given time. Ultimately, the tool appears to have created more headaches for Facebook than it was actually worth to the company.

Facebook said it is also testing a new section called "Today In", which displays local breaking news, and a dedicated section of Facebook Watch in the USA for live videos and other items exclusive to the platform. 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.

The section will be removed from Facebook next week, the company said Friday.

Facebook is discontinuing its troubled "trending" section, the social network announced Friday.

But the company said it would replace the Trending section with "future news experiences" over the platform. This feature will be available to 80 selected publishers, spread across North and South America, Australia, India, and Europe.

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But the curation of trending news in the absence of human oversight led to more blowback and embarrassment.

"There are other ways for us to better invest our resources", Hardiman told the AP.

While Facebook got outsized attention for the problems the trending section had - perhaps because it seemed popular with journalists and editors - neither its existence nor its removal makes much of a difference when it comes with Facebook's broader problems with news.

One reason the feature is so little used could be that it's not immediately visible on Facebook's app or mobile version, where most people use the site.

"We're testing a dedicated section on Facebook called Today 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", he continued.

Conservatives were outraged by allegations in 2016 that news curators had suppressed articles from right-leaning news outlets from being featured. It will also launch news videos like live coverage, daily news briefings and weekly deep dives in its Watch tab, the service's home base for video.

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