Facebook Rolls Out Trending Topics on Mobile & Unveils New Suite of Tools for Publishers
More than just a social network, Facebook has become a primary source of breaking news and other important events—allowing users to share and discuss events that are taking place around the world. However, when it comes to updates on real-time events, Twitter has been the go-to place for many social media users.
In order to compete with Twitter’s real-time updates, Facebook introduced the Trending Topic module in January 2014. Trending Topic shows users a personalized list of topics and hashtags that have recently spiked in popularity on Facebook. On December 10, 2014, Facebook took its efforts up a notch by bringing Trending to mobile devices, “making it [easier] for people to explore stories from different sources.”
According to the official announcement from Product Managers Diana Hsu and Andrew Song, Trending would be initially available to Facebook users in the United States for web and Android, with support for iOS and other countries “coming soon.”
Along with availability on mobile, new sections that facilitate a more organized experience were also introduced in the announcement [See Figures 1 and 2]:
- Articles shows [users] how news organizations are covering the story.
- In the Story shows [users] posts from people who are part of the story.
- Friends and Groups shows [users] what people in [their] network are saying.
- Near the Scene shows [users] posts from people near where the story is unfolding.
- Live Feed shows [users] a real-time stream of reactions from people around the world.
Relevant posts, which are ranked based on factors such as engagement and timeliness, continuously appear in the Trending feed below the new sections. Facebook notes that only public posts from friends and joined groups will be shown to users in Trending, both on the web and on mobile.
Along with the Trending update, Chris Cox, Chief Product Officer at Facebook, also announced a new suite of publisher tools [See Figure 3]. These new tools aim to help publishers “better understand, target and optimize how their content gets delivered on Facebook,” as the social media giant has become a primary source of all types of news, both local and international.
Both the new Trending experience and publisher tools “will make Facebook a better venue for understanding breaking news and global events.” Cox says:
Our hope here is to give people a more vivid way to see what’s going on anywhere in the world through the lens of the people involved, and to give professionals — newsrooms and journalists — more powerful tools to reach their audiences.
For more information on Facebook’s new publisher tools, click here. Below is a demonstration video provided by Facebook:
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