The latest change to the Trending Topics feed on Facebook shows the importance the social media giant places on mentions and shares over what it is that is actually mentioned.
By replacing a brief summary of the content on offer with details of how many people have mentioned or shared it, it is placing less of an emphasis on the story, and a lot more on its trending power. Popularity has never been so important.
While this is essentially what a social media platform is all about, it does seem to suggest that Facebook is openly moving towards providing a service for marketers rather than its audience.
It's good news for digital marketers, because the info we need to engage with our audience is right up front. Thanks Facebook!
Facebook is changing the way it displays Trending Topics, removing the story descriptions previously listed beside topics, and now only showing a “simplified” topic and its number of mentions. Facebook says the mentions reflect “…the number of original posts that mention the topic and shares of posts about the topic.” “There are still people involved in this process to ensure the topics that appear in Trending remain high-quality — for example, confirming that a topic is tied to a news event,” says Facebook. Facebook says a search results page for a trending topic will include the news sources covering it and posts discussing the topic, along with, “…an automatically selected original news story with an excerpt pulled directly from the top article” – all delivered algorithmically based on number of mentions and increase in mentions over a period of time.