On May 24, Facebook announced another change to the Trending stories experience.
This time, they’re aiming to improving the layout experience for its users.
Working towards being informed
According to a blog post announcing the change, “when you click on a Trending topic, you’ll see a carousel with stories from other publications about a given topic that you can swipe through. By making it easier to see what other news outlets are saying about each topic, we hope that people will feel more informed about the news in their region.”
This updates dovetails nicely with an update made earlier this year, where Facebook changed the process through which they identified Trending topics.
For this earlier update, instead of tracking trends based on social mentions, Facebook looked at the number of publications posting articles about a topic, along with the social engagement with those articles. This was done in an attempt to prevent fake news articles from showing up as a trending topic. The new update with make it easier to see the scope of coverage by all those publications, thereby encouraging users to read coverage from more reputable publishers.
Rules of engagement remain
Facebook does point out that the more update doesn’t impact those guidelines for trending topics, and they also point out that there isn’t a pre-determined list of publications that are more likely to show up for trending topics.
Facebook will also be tweaking the mobile experience for Trending topics.
In addition to rolling out the new carousel view on mobile in the near future, they will also run a test to place Trending News at the top of the news feed on the Facebook app. They are doing this in response to user feedback saying that Trending news was hard to find on the mobile app.
This makes a lot of sense, because news consumers are increasingly turning to online mediums. Four in 10 Americans get their news from online sources, according to Pew Center Research, and 65 percent of digital media is consumed on mobile, according to data from ComScore.
Facebook wants to make it easier for its users to get that information from their platform in order to improve user engagement.