Menu
Ouch -- Facebook called a 'twit' for Twitter-like trending feature

Ouch -- Facebook called a 'twit' for Twitter-like trending feature

Some users criticize a new tool to surface popular content on the site

A new feature on Facebook designed to keep people abreast of certain topics has sparked criticism from some users who want it gone, calling it nothing more than a cheap Twitter knock-off.

The Trending feature was introduced in several countries last week, including the U.S., U.K. and Canada. It appears to the right of the main news feed and displays links to trending topics in areas like entertainment, sports and news.

It's meant to highlight topics that are being talked about on Facebook or that appeal to a particular user. On Thursday Justin Bieber was trending, presumably because he was arrested this morning on a drunk driving charge.

But some users are sharply criticizing the feature, arguing that it's annoying, not relevant to them, and too focused on celebrity gossip.

"I do not care that the 'Full House' cast is reuniting for a Super Bowl ad," one person said in a Facebook discussion board thread, which has generated activity from hundreds of users over the past week.

"I didn't care when I first saw it, and I still don't care 12 hours later. How can it be 'trending' when it hasn't moved for hours?" the person wrote.

"If I want to look at trending, I would sign in to Twitter," said another. Because, "even though Facebook is a twit. it is not Twitter."

Some people are suggesting users download "F.B. Purity," a third-party browser extension meant to let people filter out chunks of content, including ads, from their Facebook accounts.

Large Internet companies like Facebook tweak their services all the time, and with so many members it's not surprising not everyone embraces the changes. When Twitter recently allowed photo previews to appear in tweets, some users complained.

Facebook's trending feature also promotes topical news stories, an area where the company has big ambitions. It redesigned its news feed last March to highlight photographs and other content from publishers. More recently, it updated its ranking system to display more news articles in users' feeds.

The trending feature, which places a premium on news, shares a goal with those other products. "Facebook wants to be your news source," said S. Shyam Sundar, founder of the Media Effects Research Laboratory at Pennsylvania State University. The trending tool, he said, acts as a news digest for those who believe that news worth knowing will find them rather than them going after it.

But users dinged it there too. "If I want news, I will look at a respected news media website," one person wrote in the forum.

In response to users' pleas for a way to remove the trending section, Facebook replied in the thread on Wednesday that the feature can't be turned off. But the company said it welcomes more feedback.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

Subscribe here for up-to-date channel news

Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Internet-based applications and servicessocial networkingtwittersocial mediainternetFacebook

Featured

Slideshows

Tight lines as Hooked on Lenovo catches up at Great Barrier Island

Tight lines as Hooked on Lenovo catches up at Great Barrier Island

​Ingram Micro’s Hooked on Lenovo incentive programme recently rewarded 28 of New Zealand's top performing resellers with a full-on fishing trip at Great Barrier Island for the third year​ in a row.

Tight lines as Hooked on Lenovo catches up at Great Barrier Island
Inside the AWS Summit in Sydney

Inside the AWS Summit in Sydney

As the dust settles on the 2017 AWS Summit in Sydney, ARN looks back an action packed two-day event, covering global keynote presentations, 80 breakout sessions on the latest technology solutions, and channel focused tracks involving local cloud stories and insights.

Inside the AWS Summit in Sydney
Channel tees off on the North Shore as Ingram Micro hosts annual Cure Kids Charity golf day

Channel tees off on the North Shore as Ingram Micro hosts annual Cure Kids Charity golf day

Ingram Micro hosted its third annual Cure Kids Charity Golf Tournament at the North Shore Golf Club in Auckland. In total, 131 resellers, vendors and Ingram Micro suppliers enjoyed a round of golf consisting of challenges on each of the 18 sponsored holes, with Team Philips taking out the top honours.

Channel tees off on the North Shore as Ingram Micro hosts annual Cure Kids Charity golf day
Show Comments