Facebook is reportedly tinkering around with users’ news feeds in an attempt to show popular, or trending, news articles.
A number of users have confirmed that they have seen several social reader applications, such as the ‘Washington Post’ and ‘Guardian’, magically appear their news feeds where usually only their friend activity lies.
While it might seem like Facebook is jumping on the trending bandwagon, a concept popularised by Twitter’s hashtag system, many users seem aggravated at the amount of intrusion the integration is causing.
Mashable.com says that – at present – the feature seems to “take over” the news feed, meaning that Facebook still has some way to go if it is to please its gigantic user base.
It suggested that a better way to implement the feature might be to have a “Trending Articles” tab in the side of the Facebook platform rather than its current in-your-face approach.
Insidefacebook.com meanwhile has reported that a mobile version of the feature has also been spotted; however, it is much less intrusive than the desktop-based version.
Since the discovery of the trending articles feature, a Facebook spokesperson has confirmed that tests are only preliminary: “To help people discover the articles that are most popular among their friends who use social news timeline apps, we’re currently testing new ways of displaying these articles in News Feed.”
The move is a clever one on Facebook’s behalf, as it only tells users what their friends are reading based on the social applications that they are using within the Facebook platform, as opposed to elsewhere on the web, thereby possibly encouraging others to install the app.