In a move to cut down on hoaxes and fake news, Facebook Inc. has modified its software to present information in your “trending topics” box that’s been substantiated by a reasonable number of established news sources.

The change took place on Feb. 1, 2017. In addition, the social media site no longer personalizes your trending topics feed; instead, you now see the same trending news stories as everyone else in the country you’re viewing from, in addition to the items in your main news feed. Facebook hopes this change will expose its users to a wider world of events and news outlets.

Longevity might be the key to reputation

In the past, what appeared in your Facebook trending feed was governed by its popularity, so events and articles that were widely shared moved higher up in the feed, regardless of the publisher’s credibility. Now, in deciding which stories are most likely to be accurate, the policy considers both how long a source has maintained a presence on Facebook, and how many of these sources are reporting the same event.

The trending topics feed is separate from your main news feed, and the algorithm used to determine its rankings is different. This means sponsored ads and updates from friends still have the same priority as before in the news feed at the center of your Facebook page, but you’ll see differences in the trending feed found on the right side of the page.

Increasing visitor trust

We at SODP have found that the best way to build reader confidence is to attribute content to multiple reputable sources. Strong social media content curation and strategies are critical to maintaining and engaging with your following. Remember, too, that visitors who view the information you provide as true and accurate are more likely to

  • Spend additional time on your site
  • Share, like and retweet posts while there
  • Check out other articles on your site
Related:  Social media distribution strategies for publishers

Facebook’s new policy will help online marketers find more trustworthy information sources by monitoring the publishers whose stories are rated highly, thereby staying on top of the latest trends. It’s now more important than ever to use reliable sources because of the risk of being penalized with lower rankings on social media and the potential for lost business. Ensuring you’re using the most credible sources of your information will increase your readers’ trust in the information you provide and, ultimately, increase your readership.

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