Facebook on Friday said that it will scrap its "trending" topics news section next week and introduce a new "breaking news" label available for posts. It also has a beta version of a dedicated section on Facebook called "Today In" to provide news from local publishers and updates from local officials and organizations.
Despite the efforts, conservatives are still targeting Facebook and other technology companies.
"From research we found that over time people found the product to be less and less useful", Hardiman said.
Facebook's controversial Trending section has fallen out of fashion and will be removed next week, along with products and third-party partner integrations that rely on the Trends API. In answer, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the company had found no evidence of this, but insisted steps would be taken to remedy the situation if evidence emerged.
Facebook's decision to kill the Trending section comes after a long, dubious saga in which the social network was widely criticized for the effectiveness and legitimacy of the feed.
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Facebook's head of news products, Alex Hardiman, wrote in the announcement that the company is now testing a breaking news label that would put the power of editorial decisions in the hands of news organizations. In early 2017, Facebook made another attempt to fix the trending section, this time by including only topics covered by several news publishers.
Testing is underway for a "breaking news" label with 80 news publishers worldwide, said the company.
While Facebook got attention for the problems the trending section had - perhaps because it seemed popular with journalists - neither its existence nor its removal makes much difference in regards to Facebook's broader problems with news. Yes, it shows trending news stories. It amassed notoriety in 2016 after a Gizmodo report that detailed allegations of the trending team suppressing conservative news. On Friday, one of the site's biggest changes was announced.
"There are other ways for us to better invest our resources", Hardiman told the AP. It also proved problematic in ways that hinted at Facebook's later problems with fake news, political balance and the limitations of AI in managing the human world. It will also launch news videos like live coverage, daily news briefings and weekly deep dives in its Watch tab, the service's home base for video.