Earlier this week reports started emerging that Facebook was testing a new feature called (at least tentatively) “What friends are talking about.” This new section of the News Feed provides a quick snapshot of the topics a few of your friends are discussing, which seems to be another effort in Facebook’s never-ending streams of attempts to get people talking in the moment on a platform that’s famous (or infamous) for being 24-72 hours behind the curve.
This is far from the first time Facebook has tried to do something to spur immediate, timely conversations among users. Most of these have faded out over time since that’s just not how people use Facebook. But it’s the behavior Facebook wants to encourage since that’s where the ad dollars are, in selling space against recent discussions.
The test is limited right now but presumably will roll out to other platforms and users over time if it proves at all successful or if it just seems like something the company needs to do.