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Trending News To Vanish From Facebook – That’s More Than One Business Model Up In Smoke Then

An interesting little – for aficionados of such stuff – story illustrating the similarity between a market economy and evolution itself. The point being that both encourage the exploitation of particular niches in the environment, something that works very well indeed. Until, of course, the environment changes, the niche vanishes, and extinction looms without further adaptability.

Facebook will be removing the “trending stories” section of its news feed next week, a feature that proved controversial in the spread of inaccurate and offensive news on Facebook.

The trending section promoted popular news articles and topics and was displayed prominently on the home page of Facebook’s website. It was also available on the Facebook app.

Facebook said that “over time people found the product to be less and less useful”. It said that its trending section accounted for less than 1.5pc of clicks to news articles from Facebook.

1.5% of the clicks of the news reading habits of 2 billion people is a substantial number. And there were indeed “news” outlets that specialised in trying to get pieces onto exactly that “trending” part of the news feed. It wouldn’t do to mention names but Buzzfeed, Mashable, my, don’t they come to mind?

It was a very successful strategy while the environmental niche existed. Now it doesn’t – or won’t imminently. Thus either a new strategy is needed or, well, extinction looms. Not for those two named, they’ve already diversified.

Not sure if this is an actual environmental story or something that Sir Pterry used as a spoof. But a type of tree whose seeds only germinated once passed through a dodo’s gut has been in real problems since the mid-1800s.

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6 years ago

I thought that was true too—the bit about tree seeds and dodos. Turns out that it was an old horticulturists’ tale, oft told in the 1970s. About when I picked up a lot of the trivia that guides my understanding of the world. Nowadays, ten seconds with Google and Wikipedia rocks the foundations of my world.

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