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Facebook Is Pushing Harder Into Breaking News

Facebook is beefing up its trending news tool.

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Facebook is making a play for news junkies.

The social network expanded its trending tool Wednesday, the feature that tells users what topics and stories are most popular on the service. Trending is now available on mobile, which wasn’t an option before, and includes a more organized layout that separates things like news stories from what your friends are saying about a specific topic, according to Andrew Song, a Facebook product manager.

Facebook first launched Trending on the service in January, a feature already popular on Twitter where people not only consume news but oftentimes break it. With Wednesday’s change, it appears Facebook is aiming to create a one-stop shop of sorts for the biggest stories in your network.

Categories under the revamped trending tab include posts from your friends, posts from the people or companies actually featured in the news and media stories on the given topic.

There is also a tab for people “near the scene” which pulls public posts from users in a specific area where the news is taking place (e.g. Ferguson, Mo.)


The structure offers an alternative to Facebook’s old layout where everything about a trending topic came in one unorganized clump. Twitter does something similar, separating elements like people, top news and photos all under the same news topic.

Of course, Facebook and Song won’t say that they’re competing with Twitter or any other news source for that matter (although the similarities are hard to ignore).

One point of interest: This is the second Facebook update this week that brings a longtime Web feature to mobile. The company announced Graph Search for mobile on Monday, which was unveiled almost two years ago for the desktop. Both instances offer contrast the mobile-first mindset the company preaches, and also means that Web-only Facebook features are harder and harder to come by.

The trending update will be available on the Web beginning Wednesday, and will roll out to Android users in the coming weeks. There is no timetable for an iOS update, although Song says Facebook is working on it.

This article originally appeared on

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