It comes as a shocker to the tech world yesterday. The world which has indeed a population of 2.19 billion as of first quarter of 2018, statista reported. Yes, we are talking about Facebook. The app which has shaped the social media. The app with more than 2 billion active users. Constant development is going on to provide a seamless experience. Furthermore, new features were added to enhance consumer experience. But the features will need modifications. On Friday, it reported that Facebook will remove ‘trending’ sections from the news feed.
It seems that the social media giant is in trouble. Instead, it will introduce a new ‘breaking news’ label to the publishers.
Facebook will remove ‘trending’ sections from the news feed
Lack of ‘click’ popularity
The trending section promoted popular news articles and topics. Also, the home page of Facebook’s website displayed it prominently. It was also available on the Facebook app. But the decision comes handy for Facebook.
“From research we found that over time people found the product to be less and less useful,” Alex Hardiman wrote in a post.
The trending section accounted for only 1.5 pc of clicks to the news article. A very small amount of click shares. Thus, Facebook will remove ‘trending’ section from its news feed in near future.
Center of controversy
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of facebook has always been a center of criticism. A feature that proved controversial in the spread of inaccurate and offensive news on Facebook. This spread was mainly due to the highlighting of news. The trending section highlights the published news on every users’ news feed. The data breach scam reports also added to the vulnerability of the social media website. Conservatives have often charged Facebook with being biased against them, grilling Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg on the issue in an April hearing.
Facebook’s “trending” topics section had become a focal point of criticisms. The company tried to temper this by removing human reviewers. But not helpful enough. It addressed fake news accusations by adding new labels and working with third-party groups to review the veracity of stories posted on the site. New scientist reported Facebook month ban in New Papua Guinea because of this fake news controversy.
Introduction of “Breaking News” label
Well, there is a very little point in introducing this feature. It is merely a pivot from ‘trending’ to a whole new label called ‘breaking news’. The company instead said it will explore new news-related projects like letting publishers include a “breaking news” label on their posts in Facebook’s newsfeed. Hardiman said Facebook is testing the new label with 80 publishers across North America, South America, Europe, India and Australia. Zuckerberg believes that this new label will reduce the frequency of fake news.
Lack of revenue generation through the outdated section
The major revenue generation model of any internet based application is the Pay per view & pay per click. Yes, the revenue generation model is truly based on selling advertisements. According to Mary Meeker’s report, Facebook has a quite a popularity in India. And most of the revenues are generated within India. This is followed by North America, Australia and others. Now, the ‘trending’ section only promoted news and not sell ads. The less revenue per click/view and low clicks dented Facebook’s revenue. Hence, Facebook will remove ‘trending’ section. And from business point of view, it is quite apprehensive.
Introduction of Facebook watch
August 9, 2017 sees a remarkable event of broadcasting Facebook watch. An on-demand video platform. It consists of shows, live and recorded episodes. As already mentioned, the revenue generation model requires showing advertisements to the users. In a similar fashion to YouTube, Facebook is also pivoting to promote this platform. It is because they can sell advertisements on the platform and earn money. So if you can’t bring the horse to the well, you can bring water to the horse instead. The same ideology is adopted by Facebook.
Now, it is not evident that these are exact reasons. But these are the most probable reasons of the pivot. The future is unpredictable. The acceptance of these new features and modifications are still in question. But the move is quite right for the sustainability.