Facebook has killed the hated Trending Topics bar

Facebook has killed the hated Trending Topics bar

Facebook has killed the hated Trending Topics bar

Facebook is shutting down its trending topics section, a feature that was meant to highlight interesting conversations on the platform but ended up creating political headaches for the company.

In the era of "fake news", Facebook is doing away with its "Trending" news section. It was only available in five countries and generated less than 1.5% of clicks to new publishers.

The quality of news on Facebook has been called into question after alleged Russian operatives, for-profit spammers and others spread false reports on the site, including during the 2016 US election campaign. But instead of letting Facebook's moderators make editorial decisions, there has been a subtle shift to let news organisations do so.

Conservatives have often charged Facebook with being biased against them, grilling Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg on the issue in an April hearing.

The section, which launched in 2014, was created to help people quickly find interesting topics on Facebook. The Trending section is no longer trending among Facebook users.

Facebook is now testing new features, including a "breaking news" label that publishers can add to stories to distinguish them from other chatter.

In early 2017, Facebook made another attempt to fix the trending section by including only topics covered by several news publishers. Facebook eventually fired the editors on the trending team, replacing them with an automated process.

The Facebook logo is seen at the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York's Times Square.

Since then, the social network has repeatedly said it is committed to focusing on only high-quality news sources, including those it believes are the most trusted by a broad range of users. It turns out that Trending wasn't as popular as Facebook would have hoped, and that's why it's removing the feature. Indeed, in its announcement, Facebook noted that the way people consume news on Facebook is changing.

"We're testing a dedicated section on Facebook called Today In that connects people to the latest breaking and important news from local publishers in their city, as well as updates from local officials and organizations".

The section will be removed from Facebook next week, the company said Friday. "News Video in Watch" will allow people to see live coverage, daily news briefings and exclusive content.

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