Facebook Testing Topic-Based News Feeds On Its Mobile App

December 30, 2015 - Written By Kishalaya Kundu

According to a post on Twitter, social networking giant Facebook is testing a new feature within its mobile app that will enable users to cut through the clutter in their news feeds. The company plans to do this by introducing multiple news categories like sports, travel, style etc. to its app. The main News Feed, however, stays on, as the company doesn’t look inclined to do away with it at least for the time being. The new feature, however, is only being rolled out to a few users, as it is still in the testing phase. There’s no word on when it might be rolled out universally to one and all. The changes were apparently first spotted by Twitter user Mr. Jason Stein (@jasonwstein), who is the founder and CEO of Brooklyn, New York-based social media agency, 24×7 Laundry Service.

Of course, earlier reports have indicated that the social networking giant has already been experimenting with a similar feature on its website for the past few months, whereby a new ‘Topics’ button can now be found in the website’s sidebar. Clicking on that button reportedly brings up a number of  menu options, such as ‘Food’, ‘Health & Fitness’, ‘Animals & Pets’ and ‘Sports’. However, this feature too is currently only being beta tested, so it may be a while before it sees a wider rollout. There’s no word, however, if this particular feature is also being tested within the mobile app, or if it will continue to remain a website-only feature in the foreseeable future.

The social networking giant, however, is not done introducing changes to its app by tinkering with its news feeds alone. The company is apparently also allowing users easier access to its shopping section (Marketplace). To do that, the company is replacing the ‘Messenger’ icon at the bottom of its iOS app and replacing it with a ‘Shopping’ button, tapping on which, allows users to browse and buy items beings sold by the various pages on the social networking site. Speaking to The Verge about its recent changes, a spokesperson for Facebook said that the company is still in the early stages of testing, so “the experience will continue to evolve as we learn more about what’s useful for people and effective for businesses”.