Facebook is retiring Trending—the box that displayed all the latest news—because, it says, the feature had outlived its usefulness.
The Trending section has been on Facebook since 2014, and served as a way to get people talking about hot news topics. But over time, the section failed to gain much traction among users, the company said Friday.
“It was only available in five countries and accounted for less than 1.5 percent of clicks to news publishers on average. From research we found that over time people found the product to be less and less useful,” Facebook said in a blog post, which said Trending will be gone next week.
More Facebook users are also viewing news over mobile and through video, the company added. In contrast, the Trending section was most prominent on the desktop; it sat on the right-hand side of the page.
The Trending section has also been mired in controversy. Initially, Facebook relied on human editors to curate the news topics that appeared. But this later landed the company in trouble with conservatives over claims that editors were not featuring stories from conservative news sites.
Facebook didn’t mention if any of these past incidents factored into its decision to retire Trending. But the company said it would replace the Trending section with “future news experiences” over the platform. For example, Facebook has been testing letting media publishers issue “breaking news labels” when important stories hit. The company is also planning a dedicated news video section in Facebook Watch, the company’s answer to YouTube, to keep people informed.