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Facebook Tests ‘Trending Articles’ Feature Inside News Feed

As if users aren't procrastinating enough on Facebook, the social networking site is experimenting with a "Trending Articles" feature within the news feed in an attempt to encourage users to read more recent news stories.

To prove a point, Facebook takes measures to ensure that the new function is in your face - literally. Taking up a significant portion of the screen, the "Trending Articles" function shows five current news stories read the most by your friends, with each article displaying a large title, graphic, summary as well as the name of the friend who read the piece.

Extracted from the social reader apps of new agencies such as the Guardian and The Washington Post, the "Trending Articles" takes up the majority of the opening part of the news feed, relegating status updates towards the bottom of the page.

Whilst it's important for sites to update their format from time to time, this is one feature that could possibly do more harm than good. When Facebook updated the site to feature a rolling news feed above the chat list, there was a public outcry - with many users quickly criticising the update. Yet it appears that the social networking service has failed to learn from its mistake, and has now subjected its users to a barrage of news stories. As every important business knows, less is more - but it should be less of the "Trending Articles", and not less of their valuable screen space.

Source: Digital Trends (opens in new tab)

Mariel Norton is a self-confessed girly geek with a penchant for technology, and previously wrote for ITProPortal, with experience on TheNextWeb, UKFast, WorldRemit, Virgin Media, Google, and more.