Facebook Thursday began the rollout of a new, Twitter-like feature called Trending, which it began testing last August, adding a list of topics that have “spiked in popularity” to the right-hand side of users’ News Feeds. The social network said Trending began rolling out Thursday in the U.S., U.K., Canada, India, and Australia, adding that it is also testing a mobile version of the feature.
Remember trending articles? They’re back, and bigger than ever. Facebook has been testing ways to give trending articles more prominence on news feeds and the latest incarnation is to have two trending articles stacked on top of each other. Previously, users would scroll sideways through trending articles.
Facebook’s flurry of tweaks and new features since its initial public offering May 18 shows no signs of slowing, with the addition of a trending videos component to users’ news feeds and a modification to the design of its trending articles component.
There is a lesson to be learned from reports earlier this week about certain Facebook social reader applications shedding users by the thousands: Don’t invest in a product or develop one just on the basis of popularity on Facebook. That’s because there’s a master magician pulling the strings, or, in this case, directing the flow of traffic, and that is the social network itself.