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Facebook takes next step in global conversation


Published: Thursday, January 16, 2014

Updated: Thursday, January 16, 2014 15:01


Associated Press

Facebook launched its new trending topics feature in a fashion that avoids hashtags.

With 1.2 billion users worldwide, the social media company announced Thursday the new module should be available to users in the United States, Canada, Britain, India and Australia within the next two weeks.

According to the New York Times, this isn’t Facebook’s first attempt at a trending topics feature. In summer 2012 joined Twitter’s hashtag tool in an attempt for users to “connect with their friends about what’s taking place all over the world,” Facebook produce manager Greg Lindley wrote in a blog post.

However, Facebook took their approach in a different direction.

Facebook’s Trending will feature three topics for each user paired with headlines from different news stories related to the topic. Topics are based off the user’s interests and discretions.

Chris Struhar, an engineering manager at Facebook, told the New York Times Trending was designed for ease of access and understanding, versus Twitter’s discover tab that lists keywords and hashtags.

“Our vision for news feed is to become your personal newspaper,” he said. “We want to connect you with all the events in the world that you will want to know about.”

Trending will continue to develop based on user feedback, Struhar said. The New York Times said Facebook is expecting to put a status update box on topic pages with the order of trends disposable at the user’s discretion.

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