Both Facebook and Twitter have a trending topics feature, but users have probably noticed there's one major difference between the two. Next to each name or subject, Facebook has helpful descriptions explaining why that topic is trending — or at least, it used to. As of this weekend, the social networking forum is getting rid of the explanatory descriptions altogether and rolling out a cleaner, simpler version of the updated Facebook trending topics list.
The latest iteration of Facebook's trending topics is highlighted below, right next to the version we're all familiar with. As you can see in the image, the new one looks closer to Twitter's version, doing away with the description and instead listing only the topics that are trending, as well as how many people are talking about them.
So why the change? According to TechCrunch, Facebook said it's altering the trending topic list in order to "increase the scalability and personalization of the product." The simpler, more algorithmically-driven version of the trending list will allow Facebook to cover more topics in its trending list every day. It will also make it easier to roll out the feature to other countries over time, especially since translating the brief descriptions into other languages will no longer be an issue.
While the change likely won't affect your daily Facebook use much going forward, it's worth noting, since scanning the trending list won't be as quick as it was before. As on Twitter, you'll now have to click through to a topic to find out why it's stirring up so much online buzz.
Still, it's not worth fussing over too much. Considering Facebook's long history of abrupt changes, this is a pretty minor update, in the grand scheme of things.