According to a post I read on Search Engine Watch over the weekend, Facebook users will now be informed of news and trending topics via a new feature that the social network has started rolling out.

Facebook´s news stream page will now include a new trending box on the top right side with topics and links to popular stories on the network. When users click on the links to the stories, they will see other people´s comments on them, as well as the number of comments, shares and likes for each of the stories.

The feature is personalised, but users will also be able to see other trending topics across Facebook. Its purpose? To encourage people to discuss interesting issues.

It´s initially being launched in the UK, the US, Canada, India and Australia, and could be introduced in other countries further down the line. Users who already see the feature active have said the news in the trending topics is mainly focused on celebrities and sports events.

It´s unclear how Facebook will organise the stories and headlines, but it is possible that some sites could pay in order for their links to be featured prominently.

Twitter already offers a similar feature where it publishes breaking news, sometimes even before CNN and Google News.

However, according to Search Engine Watch, the feature on Facebook is unlikely to be used as a source of breaking news information; users will just look at it when they happen to be on the network rather than turning to the site to find out the latest world news.

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Image: 1000words/