Prompt: Facebook’s new “Trending” feature

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Van Djick, in her book “The Culture of Connectivity,” cites Mark Zuckerberg’s interview with Time magazine reporter Dan Fletcher, where Zuckerberg was quoted saying, “the default (of Facebook) is social.” The very nature of Facebook, from Facebook’s infancy, is to socially connect people around the world, make new connections, and reignite old connections from people and friends of the past. In order to stay on the ball, from a business standpoint, it was almost required that Facebook incorporate a new feature that is popular on other social media networks, especially it’s immediate foe in Twitter. Adding the “Trending” feature fits right in with Facebook’s chief operations officer, Sheryl Sandberg’s, proclamation: “We have really big aspirations around making the world a more open and transparent place; we define our aspirations more in terms of that mission than in terms of the company’s aspirations.” Therefor, “Facebook’s mantra” is their mission is “not just a corporate one,” but one that is based on society’s interests as well. In order to maintain in tight competition with Twitter, Facebook saw an opportunity to grow as a company and an opportunity to appeal to the mass of Facebook users.

Personally, I look at this from a business standpoint. 20-somethings are using Facebook less and less, and I think Facebook analyzed some information and tried to see what exactly is so appealing about Twitter. In an attempt to compete, Facebook added the “Trend”, and I don’t think it was such a bad idea. Again, analytically and from a business perspective, Facebook’s “like” button allows companies to see how many people “like” a post or product, Facebook also has a feature that shows how many people have “seen” a post, and those things come up on your News Feed…these are all influential in how people do business and market through social media. The “Trend” feature simply takes what is being talked about by all different networks of people, and the trending topics don’t inflate your News Feed.

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