Report: Facebook Starts Testing Featured Topic In News Feed

Facebook has kicked off testing for a new feature of its News Feed that is designed to customize links to articles tailored in accordance with the interest of users, according to a new report by Reuters. The feature is called Featured Topic and it appears to be available only to a small number of users at this moment, though there is no telling whether it will be rolled out in a final release in the future, as the social media giant is known for its many experiments that sometimes the company abandons for some reason.

The abovementioned testing involves adding a description to a news story consisting of a few sentences and a specialized URL that leads readers to the article, in addition to inserting multimedia content like photos to the item in question. Reuters reported that the Menlo Park, California-based company has confirmed the existence of the testing for the Featured Topic feature with the goal of providing a tool for users to find stories and topics that they may find interesting, though it remains unclear how long the trial would take and how many users are involved in the process.

Facebook has been investing a huge amount of its resources developing and introducing new features to its service in a bid to get its more than two billion users worldwide to use the platform for an extended period. In March of this year, Facebook updated its News Feed to start displaying a season greeting to users in the form of an animated notification at the top of its home page. More recently, Facebook released a new update to the desktop and mobile versions of its site that allows users to read Facebook comments and navigate the site. That is on top of a fresh design to News Feed meant to make posts and comments easier to read. It remains to be seen how Featured Topic would help boost the amount of screen time that users spend on the social networking site. An update on the new feature is likely to come up over the next few months as the testing progresses.

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Manny Reyes

Staff Writer
A big fan of Android since its launch in 2008. Since then, I've never laid my eyes on other platforms.