Facebook Kills ‘Trending’ Topics, Will Test ‘Breaking News’ Label

Facebook is doing away with its trending news summaries at the top of your home page.

The company has announced it will shut down the “trending” topics section after a four-year trial. Facebook says the news feature wasn’t popular with users.

“We introduced Trending in 2014 as a way to help people discover news topics that were popular across the Facebook community,” Facebook said in a blog post. However, it was only available in five countries and accounted for less than 1.5% of clicks to news publishers on average.”

The demise of “Trending news” doesn’t mean Facebook is getting out of the news business, though. The social network plans to test a number of new features. Eighty publishers have been given access to a “breaking news” label they can put on posts to help stories stand out on Facebook. A new feature called “Today In” will shine a spotlight on local events. And a forthcoming section on Facebook Watch will have live news video and daily video briefings.

“People tell us they want to stay informed about what is happening around them,” Facebook said. “We are committed to ensuring the news that people see on Facebook is high quality, and we’re investing in ways to better draw attention to breaking news when it matters most.”

Facebook has been a vital source of information for some people, which has been problematic as “fake news” has spread and people don’t check the sources of information. A recent Pew Research Center study found that 44% of U.S. adults get some or all of their news through Facebook.

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