Facebook removes the trending news section from its homepage, plus a previous of Apple’s upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference and BlackBerry’s soon-to-be-released KeyTwo phone.
First up from Facebook is a story about, well, Facebook. The social media platform announced plans on Friday to discontinue its Trending News module this week. The feature is located on the right side of users’ newsfeeds and provides links to news stories that people are sharing and discussing across the site. Facebook’s head of news products Alex Hardiman said that the product has become less and less useful over time and will be removed entirely. The Trending News section was launched in 2014 to immediate controversy, as many of the stories on it were found to be intentionally false or misleading. Facebook will try experimenting with other news products apparently, including a section called Today In that includes breaking and local news, but there’s no timeline for that.
Next from Twitter, Apple’s big Worldwide Developers Conference starts today and goes until June 8th in San Jose, California. While the rumour mill has been unusually quiet leading up to this year’s four day event, the conference is known for unveiling big iOS updates and hardware announcements, like last year’s HomePod smart speaker. On the agenda this year are several iOS workshops that are prioritizing performance and reliability improvements for the iPhone, as well as a few augmented reality workshops, which hint at Apple’s desire to further delve into this space. Bloomberg is also suggesting that Apple wants to give developers a break by allowing them to develop a single app for both iOS and macOS, and given that the iOS app store was revamped in 2017, look out for some type of macOS refresh. It’s highly unlikely any hardware updates will be released as those are usually unveiled in the fall, but look out for software improvements and new added features.
And last but not least from Twitter again, BlackBerry’s anticipated Key2 premium Android smartphone is launching on June 7th. The TCL-made phone is the second generation of the successful KeyOne, which was released last year to fantastic reviews and much excitement. The Key2 will come with BlackBerry’s signature QWERTY keyboard, dual-band Wi-Fi, and Android Oreo out of the box. Insiders say to expect a big, long-lasting battery that can easily power you through a whole day without recharging, a dual camera, bigger screen, as well as a faster processor and more RAM than its predecessor. The KeyOne sold for around $200 Canadian dollars on a two-year contract, so expect similar pricing for the Key2.