Facebook introduces ‘trending videos’ module in News Feed, redesigns ‘trending articles’ layout

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By Brittany Darwell Comments

Facebook has added a “trending videos” feature to highlight social video activity within News Feed, similar to how the social network promotes social reader articles.

Video applications like Socialcam, Viddy and Chill have grown quickly as the result of Open Graph integration, which shares users’ activity to the feed. The trending videos module organizes this activity into a single unit so that video stories do not dominate News Feed. Some social reader apps experienced a decline in monthly active users when Facebook introduced “trending articles” in April. Video apps could see a similar trend, but they may benefit in other ways. For example, users might be less inclined to mark video stories as spam or hide all stories from a particular app now that they are featured in this more structured unit.

Screenshots of the desktop and mobile view come from The Next Web, which first covered the trending video feature.

With the introduction of trending videos, Facebook has also redesigned its trending articles module. The obtrusive gray bar above the stories has been replaced by a more modest header, which includes the social network’s news icon. The thumbnail that accompanies an article has been pushed closer to the center of the feed rather than being flush left, where they seemed to overpower the much smaller user thumbnails that typically take that position. However, this appears to limit the number of characters that are displayed for an article’s headline.

Similar to the mobile version of the unit, the desktop version now shows a small preview of the next article in the series, encouraging users to click to see more. The feature also includes a green icon to indicate that clicking the link will share activity back to a user’s Timeline. The icon will be gray if the user’s privacy settings will keep that activity hidden.

Overall, the feature is a better visual fit than previous iterations. The title of the feature still seems to a misnomer, however, as many of the so-called “trending” articles and videos have only been read or watched by a single friend. Occasionally users will see content that only they have viewed become displayed in their own News Feed as “trending.”

New trending articles design

Previous trending articles design