Facebook Trending Feature Improves Company
Updated: Mar 19
The following is an article “Facebook Trending Feature Improves Company” by Marc Primo.
Earlier this year, social network giant Facebook announced that it was shutting down its “trending” feature. The company’s press release stated that the reason behind the move was due to the company’s commitment to “make sure the news people see on Facebook is from trustworthy and quality sources”.
Fake News Times
Facebook’s official decision to pull the plug on their trending news aggregator service stemmed from a clear and present danger known as fake news. It was only after a series of untrue and fabricated news reports started to trend on Mark Zuckerberg’s network that his company realized the gravity of the situation and decided to take drastic action in order to salvage its reputation and credibility.
Facebook launched its trending feature in 2014, with the goal of keeping people up to date with current affairs through a user-friendly interface that would make reading the news as convenient as possible for everyone. The problem with that vision, however, was that Facebook found itself competing with well-established and reputable purveyors of news, while the common perception most people had of Facebook was quite the opposite.
Free for all
Unlike leading news agencies that hire experienced professionals, most of whom are armed with a college degree in Journalism or Mass Communications, at the very least, the platform of social media is such that anybody can create content that, if executed properly, has the capacity to go viral and make headlines not just in the digital realm, but in the age-old real world of television, print, and radio news.
Sadly, there appears to be an alarming number of the world’s population who blindly share “news” reports that appear on their feed, fuelled by the flawed mentality that “if it’s on Facebook, then it must be true”. How such a mentality came to exist in the first place is worthy of a blog post of its own, but one thing is certain: Facebook, in its lofty mission to keep people connected and make the world a smaller place, also unwittingly created a platform that allows not only those with benevolent intentions to be heard, but also the ones with malicious agendas to actually make an impact.
So, how exactly has the trending feature of Facebook made things rosier for the company, you ask?
The fact that they finally saw the damage that unverified news reports are capable of causing, which convinced Zuckerberg it was time to axe Facebook Trending is, in itself, the biggest improvement towards Facebook’s new goal of becoming a respected news aggregator.
The proof is in the pudding: that decision alone worked wonders for Zuckerberg and Facebook, because within hours of making the announcement, the phrase “Facebook Kills Trending Feature”, or similarly worded headlines, began to trend on reputable news sites in a very meta kind of way in the grand scheme of things, that ultimately allowed Facebook to regain some of the trust it had lost from its billions of users.