Facebook is reportedly going to remove the Trending section from its platform. That’s the small box on the right of your screen that shows Trending News/Topics on the social network. The company made the announcement through a blog post today.
“We’re removing Trending soon to make way for future news experiences on Facebook. We introduced Trending in 2014 as a way to help people discover news topics that were popular across the Facebook community. However, it was only available in five countries and accounted for less than 1.5% of clicks to news publishers on average. 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.”
What’s interesting here is how long it took Facebook to arrive at the decision. The Trending section has often been criticised by experts and users, especially after a 2016 story by Gizmodo, which reported how Facebook’s formerly employed editors were forced to manipulate items that appeared here. If the section was indeed not useful to publishers, it’s unclear why Facebook decided to keep it alive for so long.
"People tell us they want to stay informed about what is happening around them. 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," the world's largest social media network noted.