Facebook announced some updates to its Trending feature, including availability on mobile and new sections for different types of content.
Availability on mobile is pretty self-explanatory other than to say it will only be available in the US for the web and Android for now with iOS support and additional countries coming “soon,” which in Facebook time could be a while.
The new sections makes Facebook’s Trending feature considerably more interesting. Whereas before, it was basically a jumble of news stories with varying degrees of personal relevance, the experience is now split up into: Articles, In the Story, Friends and Groups, Near the Scene, and Live Feed.
The Articles section will provide you with coverage of the topic from various news organizations.
The In the Story section shows posts from people who are actually part of the story. Facebook has already been pretty good at that with its Newswire services for journalists, though the topics are limited. This could provide exposure for more relevant content that’s actually from Facebook itself.
The Friends and Groups shows what people in your network are saying about the topic, making the trending topic more relevant to the user on a personal level.
The Near the Scene section is exactly what it sounds like, and shows you posts from people near where the story is unfolding, providing an additional layer of geographical relevance. You could see where this would be helpful in a story like Ferguson, for example.
Finally, the Live Feed section just shows you a real-time stream of reactions from people around the world, basically like Twitter.
There will continue to be a feed below the new sections like the one that’s been there. This displays posts Facebook deems relevant, ranked by engagement, timeliness and other factors.
Facebook isn’t making any changes to how it determines what’s actually trending.
Images via Facebook