Facebook Announces Changes to its Trending Feature

Aug 30, 2016

Facebook announced it will be relying less on human curation for its Trending section, and turning to algorithms to help scale the feature. Facebook announced the Trending feature in 2014, but you may not be familiar with it because it still isn't available to everyone. In its post about the changes, Facebook said, "A more algorithmically driven process allows us to scale Trending to cover more topics and make it available to more people globally over time."

In some ways, the new Trending section may look familiar-especially if you use Twitter. Facebook wrote, "Instead of seeing a story description in Trending, you'll now see a simplified topic--for example, #PhelpsFace or NASA--as well as the number of people talking about that particular topic on Facebook." If you want to learn more about a topic, just hover over the description with your mouse.

People won't be completely eliminated from the process, however. "There are still people involved in this process to ensure that the topics that appear in Trending remain high-quality - for example, confirming that a topic is tied to a current news event in the real world. The topic #lunch is talked about during lunchtime every day around the world, but will not be a trending topic." However, people will no longer need to write time-consuming descriptions, as the algorithms will pull that information directly from the news stories.