File Image: REUTERS (Dado Ruvic)

INTERNATIONAL - To ensure that news is more reliable and of high-quality Facebook is expanding its breaking news label trial to over 50 publishers.

Facebook first did a test in the US, between December 8th to January 14th which allowed a group of publishers to identify and label breaking news.

Publishers in the test were able to label Instant Articles, mobile and web links, and Facebook Live as breaking news.

From this initial test, Facebook said they have seen positive results. 

"People in the US engaged more with posts that are labeled as breaking news", said Joey Rhyu, Product Manager of Facebook in a blog post. 

Statistics of the test showed the following:

4% lift in clickthrough rate
7% lift in Likes
4% lift in Comments
11% lift in Shares

Based on these results the company decided to expand the trial. 

Rhyu explains that publishers can use the indicator once a day, setting how long the story is marked as “breaking” for up to 6 hours.

These 'Breaking News' posts will appear in the News Feed and there will be linked information in Page Insights.

If readers don’t consider a story to be breaking news,  they are allowed to provide feedback. 

Facebook said it will track the feedback from users, and if the trial is successful, it may add more publishers to the test.

" Drawing attention to breaking news on Facebook will help get important information to people when it matters most. This is an early test and we will keep working with news publishers through the Facebook Journalism Project to incorporate their feedback and refine how it works", said Rhyu. 

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