Beyond Curation: What Comes After the Trending Section?

Facebook’s doing away with its “Trending” section. What does this signal for the future of curation?

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When Facebook announced it was doing away with its “Trending” section, it created a pause. In an industry where there has been significant focus on recommendations and curating personalized experiences, it’s a natural inflection point to look at how we suggest content for readers. Here are some aspects to consider in evolving your own strategy.

Facebook Ends Trending Feature

Facebook Trends, Google Trending topics, and other algorithms have played a key role in increasing the discoverability of certain news stories. Yet, Facebook recently announced, “We’re removing Trending soon to make way for future news experiences on Facebook. From research we found that over time people found the product to be less and less useful.” Although many factors play into this decision, it may signal a sea of change in how the social media marketing industry approaches curation.

More Personal, Less General

Trending approaches to surfacing content occur at a high level. Whether it’s a big business deal or celebrity news, these generally high-interest stories tend to have a median appeal. However, audiences are moving toward an increasing demand for relevancy and personalization. Although the trend has been shifting this way for some time, the strategy and technology now exist to make it a reality on a larger level. As a result, publishers and advertisers are making the move to investing in solutions that are more targeted.

Scaling Up Curation

On the back end, this has created a need for organizations to invest in their strategies and technologies in a few key ways:

  • Better targeting and customer data: Understanding what customers care about, and finding ways to surface that content, is becoming essential. It’s important to deeply understand what audiences want from you—at the micro level.
  • Smaller audience segments: Instead of producing a single piece of content and showing it to millions, content strategists are breaking audiences into segments. More precise segmentation is creating the need to develop more content. And content that’s closely targeted to the audience’s needs is more likely to convert, drive better brand recall, and meet other marketing goals.
  • Redefining moments: Going viral or having content that trends around a single moment may have a fading value. Instead, marketers are asking tough questions about how to create content that has long-term value to their audiences.

The days of the Trending section may be over. For content marketers, this creates an exciting opportunity to approach curation, content creation, and audience engagement in new and innovative ways.