Facebook has killed the hated Trending Topics bar

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

Facebook is shutting down its ill-fated "trending" news section after four years.

"People tell us they want to stay informed about what is happening around them", wrote Alex Hardiman, Head of News Products at Facebook, in an announcement. But at that time fake news was not a popular term and no foreign country had been accused of trying to influence the United States elections through social media, as Russian Federation would be.

Facebook's controversial Trending section has fallen out of fashion and will be removed next week, along with products and third-party partner integrations that rely on the Trends API.

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.

"From research we found that over time people found the product to be less and less useful", Hardiman said.

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.

In late 2016, Facebook fired the human editors who worked on the trending topics and replaced them with software that was supposed to be free of political bias.

How the platform approached its role as a news disseminator has sparked heavy criticism across a number of different groups.

The contractor claimed Facebook downplayed conservative issues and promoted liberal causes. However, the company declined to provide a list of publishers or details on the funding.

While Facebook got attention for the problems the trending section had - perhaps because it seemed popular with journalists - neither its existence nor its removal makes much difference in regards to Facebook's broader problems with news. It plans to launch this feature in the next few months.

Detailed in a press release, Facebook says that its trending feature was only available in select countries and didn't prove to be popular.

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

And in almost the same breath, he then went on to admit that Facebook pays to "help produce content" - as it's doing now with these new news videos.

Related:

Comments

Latest news

UK's William Browder Says Detained in Spain on Russian Arrest Warrant
In August, Russia sought to have him put on the Interpol list as he was convicted in absentia by a Russian court of tax evasion. The financier, who is a plaintiff in the Spanish investigation, said Spain is among 15 countries following the money trail.

Xiaomi announces new flagship smartphones, smart TV, fitness band and more
Xiaomi's latest software boasts new AI camera features, as well as a redesigned recent app interface that maximizes screen space. The Xiaomi Mi 8 SE has a 5.88-inch FHD+ OLED display (manufactured by Samsung ) and offers 86.12% of screen-to-body ratio.

Alberto expected to make landfall Monday
Heavy rain with a possibility of thunderstorms are expected to begin moving into the area from about 1 p.m.to 7 p.m., Mott said. STORM SURGE: Water levels along the northeast Gulf of Mexico coast are receding, and will continue to do so overnight.

New Zealand Orders Mass Cattle Cull To Eradicate Disease
The government said it would bear around two-thirds of the cost, while farmers and the cattle industry will pay the rest. The government is announcing its decision about whether to eradicate or contain the cattle disease, Mycoplasma bovis .

Syrian government vows to fight rebels despite United States warning
Following Lavrov's statement, the Israeli PM asserted that there is no place for Iran's military forces in Syria . Syria is planning offensives against rebels in the southwestern area of the country, near the Jordan border.

Red Sox designate Hanley Ramirez for assignment
When Ramirez's struggles this month continued, Cora said the team - and Ramirez - were better served with him gone. In designating Hanley Ramirez for assignment, the Red Sox dumped one of the purest hitters on their roster.

US Navy warships sail close to militarized South China Sea
These operations "are not about one country", he said, "nor are they about making political statements ". The move signals U.S. rejection of China's claims of political control in the South China Sea.

With US talks in limbo, Korean leaders hold surprise summit
China, South Korea and the USA all back denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula, but differ on how to make that happen. Our United States team has arrived in North Korea to make arrangements for the Summit between Kim Jong Un and myself.

Trump not backing down on 'spy' allegations
On Thursday, two meetings were held with lawmakers to resolve issues around the documents. Nunes and Gowdy left about an hour later without speaking to reporters.

US Gulf Coast braces for Alberto battering
Tropical storm warnings and watches have been issued for parts of the MS coast all the way to the western Gulf Coast of Florida. It is showing signs of transitioning to something more tropical as deeper convection has developed near the center.

Trump Tells Naval Academy Graduates: 'We're Respected Again'
The president said in a statement that it was a "great honor and pleasure" to deliver remarks to the academy's Class of 2018 today.

Ivanka Trump Defends Serena Williams After French Open Snub
Williams took 14 months off from the WTA Tour after winning the 2017 Australian Open while pregnant. When the draw was announced Thursday, it appeared that Williams caught something of a break.

The NFL's Crackdown on Player Protests
Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin , speaking after a team practice on Thursday, called Trump "an idiot, plain and simple". Vice President Mike Pence called it "a win for the fans, a win for (the president), and a win for America".

Richie Incognito placed on involuntary psychiatric hold in Florida
The Bills gave him another chance and he had three good seasons for them, but then he had a truly freaky offseason. TMZ is reporting the alleged victim is claiming Incognito threw a tennis ball and a dumbbell at him.

M&S says annual profits tumble on restructuring
Marks and Spencer (M&S) has revealed steep falls in annual sales and profits, hours after accelerating its store closure programme .

Other news