Facebook has introduced a new, Twitter-style 'Trending' feature to notify users of news events provoking discussion on the social network.
As Facebook and Twitter fight to become the primary destination for discovering breaking news stories and major events, Facebook has recently introduced several features that function in a similar way to those offered by Twitter, including Hashtags. Facebook's Trending feature adds a new area to the right-hand side of a user's News Feed, which displays three topics and a description of each (below).
Topics that have experienced a recent "spike" in conversation will appear, as well as stories that Facebook believes will be of interest to the user.
When clicked, posts from friends and public Facebook pages will appear along with relevant links on the topic.
By its nature, Facebook's posts contain richer content than those offered by trending topic pages on Twitter, with images, links and comments all available. In Twitter's trending topics function, called Discover, users are simply presented with an automatically curated list of ‘top tweets'.
Facebook said Trending is currently rolling out on the desktop version to "select countries". These include the US, UK, Canada, India and Australia, the firm told V3. A mobile version is currently in testing.
Twitter uses trending topics as a means of advertising, with topics sometimes appearing in its trending lists as sponsored content. V3 understands that Facebook does not offer this feature to advertisers, and the firm said it doesn't have plans to do so at this time. Facebook already delivers sponsored content in other areas including the News Feed, where paid-for posts are clearly marked.
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