There’s a change up that Facebook is creating in the way that they’re displaying Trending Topics. They’re removing the story descriptions that were previously listed besides topics, and instead, they are only showing a “simplified” topic and its number of mentions.
An announcement posted on Facebook’s newsroom website includes the following image to highlight the changes being made to Trending Topics:
The image shows the previous box with short story descriptions and the new layout that lists the topic and number of mentions it generated.
Facebook says the mentions reflect, “…the number of original posts that mention the topic and shares of posts about the topic.”
Facebook says that Trending Topics will continue to be based on a user’s activity, along with anything else that is trending overall. In the end, Trending Topics will continue including a human element.
“There are still people involved in this process to ensure that the topics that appear in Trending remain high-quality — for example, confirming that a topic is tied to a current news event in the real world,” says Facebook. Facebook said this, noting that the new changes mean that there will no longer be a need for the team to write topic descriptions or story summaries for trending topics.
The sill will now rely on an algorithm that will pull excerpts directly from news stories that will display when a user hovers over the Trending Topic or clicks on it.
According to Facebook, a search results page for a trending topic is going to include the news sources that are covering it and posts discussing the topic, as well as with “…an automatically selected original news story with an excerpt pulled directly from the top article itself.” All of these are delivered algorithmically based on number of mentions and increase in mentions over a short period of time.