Facebook Is Scrapping Its Troubled 'Trending' News Section

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

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 US for live videos and other items exclusive to the platform. It said that its trending section accounted for less than 1.5pc of clicks to news articles from Facebook. But she said Facebook's focus now is prioritizing trustworthy, informative news that people find useful.

We'll see if doing away with the Trending section and delivering more meaningful news does anything to improve user trust in Facebook.

Facebook drew fire after actors linked to Russian Federation ran thousands of ads on the platform in an effort to meddle in the 2016 presidential election.

Ultimately, Facebook appears to conclude that trying to fix the headaches around trending wasn't worth the meager benefit the company, users and news publishers saw in it.

While it may be true that Trending wasn't used very much, the feature also opened Facebook to attack from critics who complained it was jury-rigging the news diet of its massive user base.

"We are committed to ensuring the news that people see on Facebook is high quality", Hardiman said. It also proved problematic in ways that hinted at Facebook's later problems with fake news, political balance and the limitations of AI in managing the human world.

According to the Pew Research Center, 44 percent of USA adults get some or all of their news through Facebook.

Over 80 news publishers are now testing the "breaking news" label, which allows them to opt to flag their Instant Articles, mobile and web links, and Facebook Live video as breaking news, the company tells us.

Facebook is done with Trending, though.

Facebook has announced that it will be dropping its "Trending" feature that promotes popular news content on the platform. These efforts will be funded by Facebook itself, the company said. But instead of letting Facebook's moderators make editorial decisions, there has been a subtle shift to let news organisations do so.

Another feature, called "Today In", shows people breaking news in their area from local publishers, officials and organizations.

A third feature will soon launch. The company is also funding news videos, created exclusively for Facebook by outside publishers it would not yet name.

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