As a company that regularly undertakes successful search engine marketing in Surrey, Thunderbolt Digital know how important it is to keep up to date with the way things are viewed and shared, as well as keeping on top of what’s trending online. In line with this, we noticed that Facebook quietly pulled a feature that had been running since 2014 with little fanfare, and we couldn’t help but wonder – just who noticed?
Have you noticed anything missing from your regular Facebook experience? Something from the sidebar, perhaps? No? Well, that goes some way to explaining why this mystery feature we’re talking about was removed. Yes, we’re talking about the “Trending” sidebar that used to inform users what news pieces were being discussed most on Facebook including various topics like political sports and entertainment.
In theory it sounds like a good idea – similar to trending hashtags on Twitter, but according to Facebook the feature didn’t prove to be all that popular in the five countries it was available in, and accounted for only 1.5% of clicks to news publishers, leading Facebook to eventually pull the plug early this June, after four years of service.
However, Facebook don’t intend to leave things as is, but replace the underappreciated with a number of new ways to help users connect with news pieces including a breaking news indicator, a new section called “Today In” focused on local news, and the ability to watch live coverage videos from various news outlets (although this last feature (“Facebook Watch”) will only be available in the US).
These new features are as such only in the testing phase, and may take a while to appear, so be sure to keep an eye on your news feed so you can try them out for yourself! Of course, Facebook may also scrap these new options too if they prove to be poor traffic drivers, so who knows what the future holds regarding the consumption of news in the future?