Facebook has announced that its Trending topics section will no longer be a part of its feature-rich platform from next week. The social media giant said the feature will instead “make way for future news experiences on” its platform.
Trending topics was introduced in 2014 as a way to help people discover news popular topics among users of the platform. The feature didn’t really live to expectation as it struggled to gain the needed traction over the four-year period it existed. Available only in five countries, the feature didn’t attract an impressive number of clicks to publishers, according to Facebook Head of News Product Alex Hardman in a blog post.
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.
Trending topics or box will be retired next week, and will probably be replaced by other products that are currently being tested by the company. As matter of fact, one of the products that may likely replace the feature is breaking news labels as well as a section that collects local stories.
The way people consume news has changed over the years—the focus these days is on mobile, and of course, news video. The company will now be more dynamic in its approach in order to help people get the latest news and information that matters to them. While doing all that, the company said its eyes will be focused on providing news from sources that are not only reliable, but trustworthy as well.
Three potential replacements for Trending topics include:
- The Breaking News Label: Facebook says it is currently running a test with 80 publishers across North America, South America, Europe, India and Australia that lets publishers put a “breaking news” indicator on their posts in News Feed.
- Today In: Also being tested is a dedicated section on Facebook called Today In. Today In connects people to the latest breaking and important news from local publishers in their city, as well as updates from local officials and organizations.
- News Video in Watch: Very soon, the social networking behemoth will add 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.
In related news, Facebook is allowing its users to add polls to their stories on Messenger. To create a new poll, simply tap the polls sticker and place it wherever you want it to be. Facebook Messenger will then prompt you to add a question and answers for voting. Of course, this is soon followed by voting from friends and followers as soon as you have shared it.
Your friends can see real-time result for the poll, and updates will be shown each time they go back to watch your story. Replies to polls are also possible: your friends will be able to reply just by typing at the bottom to open a Messenger conversation with you—it is that easy.