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Facebook to test Trending Topics feature, show older posts more often

Facebook is shaking things up on its News Feed in an effort to get users to stay on its site longer and interact with others more.

The company is reportedly testing a new Trending Topics feature that will show users posts by their friends and others on subjects that are popular at the moment.

Starting Wednesday, a small number of users of Facebook's mobile website will see a "Trending" icon that shows a currently popular topic near the top of their News Feed. They can tap on that to see what their friends are saying about the buzz-worthy topic as well as what others on Facebook are saying, according to All Things D.

The "Trending Topics" feature closely resembles "Trends" on Twitter.

QUIZ: How much do you know about Facebook?

Though just a few users will see "Trending Topics," all users can expect to begin seeing older posts on their News Feeds.

That's because Facebook on Tuesday said it had adjusted its News Feed algorithm to show users older content they may have initially missed but is still popular and generating Likes as well as comments.

Facebook said it has been testing this algorithm change, and it has resulted in users reading more posts on their News Feed. To be precise, Facebook said the previous algorithm got users to read 57% of posts while the new algorithm, during tests, got users to read 70% of stories.

"The data suggest that this update does a better job of showing people the stories they want to see, even if they missed them the first time," Facebook said. 

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Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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