SOCIAL NETWORK Facebook is upping the ante in its rivalry against microblogging website Twitter with the announcement of a Trending feature.
Facebook engineering manager Chris Stuhar announced the news in a blog post on Thursday. He said, "Facebook is a space where people from all over the world gather every day to share their thoughts and participate in real-time conversations, from the highlights of the Golden Globes to the passing of Nelson Mandela.
"Today we're announcing Trending, a new product that's designed to surface interesting and relevant conversations in order to help you discover the best content from all across Facebook.
Facebook Trending does pretty much what it says on the tin, and works like Twitter's Trending Topics feature. It will appear to the right of the Facebook user's News Feed, showing which topics people are nattering about most across the social network.
Of course, this is Facebook, so the results are more personalised that those of Twitter, with the social network likely scouring through each user's Likes and messages to select what topics to display in the Trending window.
Stuhar added, "The list is personalised, including topics based on things you're interested in and what is trending across Facebook overall. Each topic is accompanied by a headline that briefly explains why it is trending. You can click on any headline to see the most interesting posts from your friends or Pages that are talking about that particular topic.
This isn't the first time that Facebook has aped Twitter, having rolled out hash-tagging last year. However, if our News Feed is anything to go by, this feature hasn't taken off on Facebook.
Facebook is rolling out Trending in selected countries, but there's no word yet as to when it will start hitting News Feeds in the UK. It's not available on mobile yet either, with the firm saying that it is still testing a smartphone version of the feature. µ
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