January 29, 2017 1:13:25 pm
Facebook has announced several new changes to its Trending Topics section, based on people’s feedback. The social media giant rolled out three new updates which includes a publisher headline below each topic name, an improved system to determine what is trending and everyone in the same region will see the same topics. The changes in Trending Topics will be made available to everyone in the US in the coming weeks.
Facebook is adding headlines to Trending topics to provide people with more context on what is trending on the social network. “This was the most requested feature addition since the last update we made to Trending in August,” said Will Cathcart, VP, Product Management, Facebook in a post. Initially, these headlines appeared when users hovered over or clicked on a Trending topic, but can now be seen directly within Trending.
Next up, is changing the way Facebook identifies topic. Previously, topics trended due to high engagement on Facebook around a single post or article. However, the update allows a topic to trend based on the number of publishers that are posting articles on Facebook about the same topic, and the engagement around that group of articles. Also, topics that are trending on Facebook will no longer be personalised, which means everyone in the same region will see the same topic.
Facebook made changes to Trending Topic in August last year, after a Gizmodo report accused the social media giant of editorial bias against US conservative news organisations in its Trending Section. Facebook denied the charges, and later removed human editors and switched to a more algorithm-driven system for deciding ‘Trending’ topics. Facebook said the company looked into these claims and found no evidence of systematic bias. “Still, making these changes to the product allows our team to make fewer individual decisions about topics,” the company said in a post.
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