Social media giant Facebook said in a statement that it’s removing its “Trending” feature to make way for “future news experiences on Facebook,” including a “Breaking News Label,” the company released a statement on June 4.
These experiences include things like a dedicated section for news videos on its video hub Facebook Watch, a breaking news label publishers can use on their posts, and a dedicated section called “Today In” which connects people to news and information from local publishers in their city along with updates from local officials and organizations.
Over 80 news publishers are currently 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.
The Trending feature was first introduced in 2014 to allow users to discover news topics in accordance with Facebook, and it accounts for only 15 percent of news publishers’ clicks. Over time, people increasingly feel that this feature is not very useful, that is probably the fundamental reason for today’s decision of Facebook.
Facebook didn’t announce any plans to bring back Trending, or some version of it in the future.
Trending is being pulled from Facebook next week and it will also remove products and third-party partner integrations that rely on the Trends API, the company said.
“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. “We are committed to ensuring the news that people see on Facebook is high quality, and we’re investing in ways to better draw attention to breaking news when it matters most,” Hardiman said.