How to get rid of Facebook's new trending articles
Facebook appears to be testing out a new feature called "trending articles" that intrusively adds articles that your friends have viewed into your newsfeed. You can't just click on these and go to the story. Instead you are piped through some social reader app that you have to give permissions to before you can continue.
I don't particularly want to activate such apps and wanted to find a way to remove their spam from my feed.
Facebook has been making blocking applications more and more difficult lately, but I found a nice way to get rid of these pesky apps once and for all.
Go to Privacy Settings in the top right, then scroll down to "Blocked People and Apps" and click "Manage Blocking"
Then under Block apps, you can start typing in the names of the offending apps and add them to your block list immediately. For the news reader type apps I blocked:
- Yahoo! (There's 2 of them)
- The Washington Post
- Washington Post (Thanks david!)
- Washington Post Social Reader
- Daily Horoscopes (Ton of apps with this name... the 2nd one did the trick for me.)
- The Guardian
- The Huffington Post
I'm sure more will pop up over time and I'll keep adding to this list as I see them.
And there you go. No more "trending articles".
Update - 1 June 2012
I logged in today to see "Trending Videos". Here's the list of apps I've needed to block to get rid of this one. Not very many so far. I'm sure you get the idea now anyway if anything new pops up.
- Socialcam (thanks Amy!)
Update - 14 July 2012
Another nice method was brought to my attention today. Credit for this tip goes to UbdU in comment #62 below.
If you want to do a one-time removal of Trending Articles, you can install the browser extension Adblock Plus and add the following filter rule:
I haven't tested this myself, as the blocking method suits my purposes quite well, but it should work like a treat.
- Fire and forget. You don't have to worry about new reader apps bringing the Trending Articles back. This is a huge plus.
- You can easily use this in conjunction with the blocking method above to limit the effect on other computers/devices.
- You need to be using a browser that supports Adblock Plus or a similar extension
- You need to install this onto every computer that you will be logging into Facebook on
- You may not have control over browser extensions or they may be unavailable, say on friend's/work computer or mobile device or your preferred browser.
- You may need to know a little bit about HTML should Facebook ever modify the code that displays this.
Update - 19 July 2012
This seems to be a very common question, so I'll try to bring a little more attention to it. "Trending Articles" is not an app it's a feature. It will not show up in the app list if you try typing it in. You need to block all the apps that it aggregates in order to block it. The apps I currently know about are in the list above. Hope this helps!