Mashable is reporting that Facebook has begun to test a “Trending Articles” feature in user news feeds. The feature inserts articles from Facebook social reader apps into a user’s news feed amongst status updates and likes. Social reader apps are developed and used by major media outlets such as The Washington Post and Vogue to promote stories on Facebook.
There has not yet been any official word from Facebook through their newsroom, but the updated Mashable article quotes a Facebook spokesperson as saying, “To help people discover the articles that are most popular among their friends who use social news timeline apps, we’re currently testing new ways of displaying these articles in News Feed.”
It is unclear whether users have to use the social reader apps themselves for the article summaries to show up, which I hope is the case. I, for one, don’t want trending articles clogging up my news feed. I already have plenty of Facebook friend posts to skip over without having to see stories about celebrities or sports. Though I haven’t seen any of these trending articles show up on my news feed yet, I may just have to venture into the depths of Facebook’s settings to see if I can prevent it from ever happening, just in case.
What do you think? Have you seen any of these trending articles yet? Are my fears about a flood of inane stories from acquaintances I knew in high school justified? Let me know in the comments below.