Monday, 15 October, 2018

Facebook is killing its Trending news section

Olivia Ford | 02 June, 2018, 03:25

The company is also planning a dedicated news video section in Facebook Watch, the company's answer to YouTube, to keep people informed.

Facebook announced on Friday that it planned to remove Trending, a module on the right-hand side of Facebook's desktop site that shows news stories people are discussing and sharing. At the same time, it is testing new products aimed at delivering news from trustworthy sources.

Facebook's head of news products, Alex Hardiman, wrote in the announcement that the company is now testing a breaking news label that would put the power of editorial decisions in the hands of news organizations.

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

The company has also been reeling from the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Conservatives were outraged by allegations in 2016 that news curators had suppressed articles from right-leaning news outlets from being featured. When it addressed that problem by firing human editors in 2016, it opted for algorithms to make unbiased selections, a fertile environment vulnerable to phony information.

According to research from Pew, about 44 percent of US adults get news from Facebook.

"Rather than informing users, it was often misinforming them".

Trending Topics started in 2014 and caused plenty of headaches for Facebook.

Breaking News Label: A test we're running with 80 publishers across North America, South America, Europe, India and Australia lets publishers put a "breaking news" indicator on their posts in News Feed.

The company intends to replace Trending Stories with two new features: first, news organizations will be able to label stories as breaking news.

Eighty publishers around the world now have access to the tool, which allows them to add a label that indicates a story is "breaking".

He said the Trending feature would be removed "soon". Facebook is also promoting more local news stories and letting users rank the trustworthiness of various publications.

Facebook has sensibly made a decision to call it quits, and is discontinuing the feature - which has been a never-ending source of criticism for the company, despite only being available in a handful of countries.

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