Facebook has removed the ‘Trending’ section from its platform, first introduced in 2014, saying it has become less useful over time.
Trending was added to the Facebook platform as a way to help people discover popular news topics.
Publishers shouldn’t notice any dip in traffic as a result of this change, as Trending apparently accounted for less than 1.5% of clicks to news sites on average.
The lack of interest in Facebook’s Trending section could be due in part to the company never fully getting behind it. For example, during its 4 years in existence it was only ever rolled out to 5 countries.
Trending will be removed from Facebook within the next week. Products and third-party partner integrations that rely on the Trends API will also be removed.
The company says it plans to replace Trending with other news experiences in the future:
“We’ve seen that the way people consume news on Facebook is changing to be primarily on mobile and increasingly through news video. So we’re exploring new ways to help people stay informed about timely, breaking news that matters to them, while making sure the news they see on Facebook is from trustworthy and quality sources.”
Facebook is currently running several tests in an effort to explore news ways of keeping people up-to-date on the latest news. Some of these tests include:
A “breaking” news indicator on News Feed posts.
A new section called “Today In,” which connects people to important news from local publishers.
A dedicated section in Facebook Watch where people can view exclusive news coverage.