Facebook Just Tweaked Its Trending Feature Again and Announced a Test in News Feed

iPhone users in the U.S. will now see a carousel of stories on each topic, from various publications

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Facebook announced a redesign of the results page for its Trending feature, as well as a test in its mobile News Feed.

The results page for Trending—the page users see when they click on a Trending topic—will now present iPhone users in the U.S. with a carousel of stories on the topic from various publications, and Facebook said the new results page will be added to Android and desktop “soon.”

Product manager Ali Ahmadi and product designer John Angelo explained how stories are selected in a Newsroom post:

By making it easier to see what other news outlets are saying about each topic, we hope that people will feel more informed about the news in their region.

The stories that appear in this section are some of the most popular stories about that topic on Facebook. These stories are determined the same way as the featured headline—using a combination of factors including the engagement around the article on Facebook, the engagement around the publisher overall and whether other articles are linking to it.

There is no predetermined list of publications that are eligible to appear in Trending, and this update does not affect how Trending topics are identified, which we announced earlier this year.

Ahmadi and Angelo also revealed that Facebook is running a “small test” in mobile News Feed, where users will see a module containing the top three Trending stories.

Clicking on that module will bring users to the full list of Trending topics, and users in the test group can opt out.

They wrote:

One of the things we regularly hear from people who use Trending is that it can be difficult to find in the Facebook mobile app. We’re soon beginning a test in News Feed that will show people the top three Trending stories, which they can click on to see the full list of Trending topics and explore what people are discussing on Facebook.

While most people will not see Trending in their News Feed as part of this small test, we hope that it will help us learn how to make Trending as useful and informative for people as possible. If you do see the Trending unit in your News Feed, you have the option to remove it in the drop-down menu, which will prevent it from being shown to you in the future.

david.cohen@adweek.com David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.