Facebook received sharp criticism last year after it was reported that the company allegedly suppressed stories from conservative media outlets in its Trending news section.
Now Facebook is testing a redesign that places Trending, which shows links to top news stories, front and center at the top of the News Feed on mobile phones. The Trending section was previously buried in the search box of Facebook’s mobile app.
Placing select news stories at the top of its app would drive significant traffic to publishers if Facebook makes the change broadly available. For now, the test is being run with a small percentage of Facebook users that can opt to hide the section if it’s shown to them.
“While most people will not see Trending in their News Feed as part of this small test, we hope that it will help us learn how to make Trending as useful and informative for people as possible,” Facebook said in a blog post on Wednesday.
85% of Facebook’s ad revenue comes from mobile phones, according to the company’s last quarterly earnings. Facebook was widely blamed for allowing the spread of fake news leading up to the US presidential election, and recently it has made efforts to curb the sharing of misinformation.
On Wednesday, Facebook also announced a more visual redesign of its Trending section that shows a carousel of related links based on their shared topics. The new look is available for iPhone users now and will roll out on Android soon.
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