Facebook’s Trending Wants To Be Your Mobile News Reader

Author

Helen A.S. Popkin

December 11, 2014

Facebook finally made Trending, its Twitter-like zeitgeist-monitoring feature, available for mobile on Wednesday, along with updates designed to keep all eyes focused on the social media app. 

Trending, introduced in January, was limited to Facebook’s desktop interface. Appearing on the right side of the screen, Trending lists top conversations on the social network, including a summary and links to topical posts from friends and Pages. The new mobile rollout, available for Android now and coming to iOS soon, adds five separate, easy-to-navigate sections. With this update, Facebook is attempting to cover every aspect of how we ingest information in the social media era.

Mobile users will now be able to monitor information as it is reported by news outlets. They will also be able to see news as it is commented on by friends—as well as any Facebook user posting publicly or even in the vicinity of a news event—by scrolling through these five Trending categories:

  1. Articles: News stories about the trending topic.  
  2. In the Story: Facebook posts from people involved in the story, which you don’t need to be their Facebook “friend” to view.
  3. Friends and Groups: What people you are connected to on Facebook are saying about the topic.
  4. Near the Scene: Geo-located posts from people near a news event. 
  5. Live Feed: The most Twitter-like feature which shows you a real-time stream of reactions from Facebook users. 

Facebook is keenly focused on usurping Twitter’s reputation as the go-to social network for breaking serious news. While this latest update won’t shake the cred Twitter has accumulated over the years, it may go far towards training its mobile users to turn to Facebook for the news. 

Lead image courtesy of Facebook.

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