When you scroll through social media, sometimes you might find certain news outlets you follow caption their posts with “BREAKING”. This is to indicate that a big piece of news just broke, which might be of interest to those who want to find out the latest news and follow it as the story develops.

Facebook knows this and wants to make it easier for publications to highlight breaking stories. According to a report from Recode, Facebook is testing out a new “breaking” label that publications can use when they post on Facebook, as you can see in the screenshot to the right. The idea is that this will make it clearer as to what stories are “breaking” right now, as well as show how long ago it was posted.

As it stands, the feature will allow publishers to choose to leave the label on for as little as 15 minutes, or up to 6 hours, and that they can only use it once every 24 hours. However it seems that for now, breaking stories won’t necessarily rank at the top of your News Feed. A Facebook spokesperson told Recode, “As part of this test, we’ll be evaluating if breaking news stories should be incorporated into ranking.”

It is an interesting idea and whether or not it’ll actually be released as an actual feature for publishers to use remains to be seen.

Filed in General. Read more about Facebook.

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