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With several changes on News Feed and Timeline, Facebook will now surface trending topics alongside the News Feed. Facebook now imitates a twitter-like feature called trending which is designed to surface interesting and relevant conversations in order to help you discover the best content from Facebook. Each trend will include a short description, and users can click on a trend in order to see a list of posts and articles related to a certain topic.
According to a spokesperson, Facebook will determine the trending topics with an algorithm that is intended to recognise a sharp increase in popularity but not necessarily a large volume of posts about a particular subject. And it also mentions that all popular subjects on the Facebook will not be always trending. It will be trending only when that subject experiences a spike in mentions.
“Facebook is utterly dependent on new and fresh content because that’s how it draws an audience,” Rebecca Lieb, Altimeter Group analyst, told Information Week. “If people aren’t updating their status or uploading pictures, Facebook gets stale and people won’t return. Facebook is increasingly becoming a new place for news discovery, and by algorithmically updating it to display new content, it’s sweetening the pot. It’s making Facebook a more compelling content destination.”
The microblogging network has offered trending topics alongside the main Twitter feed for years and also allows advertisers to buy promoted trends. But at least for now, trending posts on Facebook will not include sponsored or promoted content.
The move is just the latest by Facebook that imitate Twitter’s actions including the introduction of hash tags and ‘@’ directives, as well as expanded ad platforms boosting brand posts and auto-play video ads.
Facebook will start to bloom on its trending features from this Thursday, and the features should be available to all desktop users in the Australia, United States, United Kingdom, Canada, India etc. in the “coming weeks”, according to a spokesperson.