In the aftermath of the US Presidential elections which resulted in Donald Trump becoming the ‘leader of the free world’, Facebook received a lot of flak for creating an echo chamber which resonated opinions people already subscribed blacking out any opposing views. A new feature by the social networking giant aims to correct that flaw. Named ‘Latest Conversations’, Facebook is rolling the new feature which will show the most recent posts by users across the world on topics which a lot of people discussing.
The feature will provide users with a wider view of the topics under discussion, exposing them to views and sentiments expressed outside their social bubble.
The feature appears within search results, as a separate section. On clicking the search results page, the ‘Latest Conversations’ tab will feature a live updating section containing posts people are posting about a topic that is trending.
The feature gives users an idea of how widely discussed a topic is. However, the latest posts may not be in your native language and the feature does not yet have a translate option. The public posts are displayed in reverse chronological stream. On first glance, the feature may feel a lot like Twitter’s stream of live updating tweets.
Surfacing stranger’s posts is not new to Facebook however. A broad keyword search on the social network displayed public posts by friends and acquaintances, news articles, photos, videos, pages and groups and apps related to the searched keyword.
The move comes at a time when Facebook has been attempting to get people out of their filter bubbles. Facebook had earlier rolled out algorithms which surfaced topics which users liked to interact with, optimising the news feed with favourable content. This meant that an user was no longer seeing posts of opposite views which led to voters in the US believing a lot of fake news articles that were circulated just before the presidential elections.