Facebook’s Trending Topics don’t show headlines and brief explanations anymore. The company has added a more automated design that strips human-written descriptions from its list of popular topics after months of criticism over how the social network displayed news stories.
You might notice chances as thus; instead of describing the topic with a headline, the new automated format simply highlights the trend – a word, phrase, hashtag, without any trouble. Those interested in knowing what the hubbub is about can hover the cursor to pop up a small window with an associated story and source.
Also in place of the description, Facebook will now tell you how many people are talking about a given topic.
Our goal is to enable Trending for as many people as possible, which would be hard to do if we relied solely on summarizing topics by hand. A more algorithmically driven process allows us to scale Trending to cover more topics and make it available to more people globally over time. This is something we always hoped to do but we are making these changes sooner given the feedback we got from the Facebook community earlier this year, Facebook said in a blog post.
Earlier this year, we shared more information about Trending in response to questions about alleged political bias in the product. We looked into these claims and found no evidence of systematic bias. Still, making these changes to the product allows our team to make fewer individual decisions about topics. Facebook is a platform for all ideas, and we’re committed to maintaining Trending as a way for people to access a breadth of ideas and commentary about a variety of topics.Perhaps to avoid perception this move was in reaction to the controversy, Facebook says this plan’s been in the works for a while. It also said trending topics are still personalized based on your tastes, and still relevant to world events, the social media giant explained.