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Facebook gets a 'trending topics' box (just what its cluttered pages need)

Retweets Twitter's playbook literally

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Facebook is rolling out a new "service" in the form of a Trending box in the top righthand corner of user's home page, which highlights topics that have recently proved popular.

Trending

Less space for you

"The list is personalized, including topics based on things you’re interested in and what is trending across Facebook overall," the behoodied-Zuckerberg-run social network explained in a blog post.

"Each topic is accompanied by a headline that briefly explains why it is trending. You can click on any headline to see the most interesting posts from your friends or Pages that are talking about that particular topic."

Trending topics is already in use by other social media sites, such as Twitter, and the new box will help drive clicks to other Facebook sites. But some users are already complaining that the amount of screen space devoted to their own musings is small enough as it is.

Facebook hasn’t said if it will be adding sponsored stuff to the trending box, but it seems likely considering the company now has shareholders to please. No doubt it will also be used to increase Facebook's relevance as a source of breaking news.

The company said that it will begin rolling out the Trending box to users over the coming weeks "in select countries," and is testing the service on its mobile client. ®

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