New & Unread Topics can be random topics

The section labeled “New & Unread Topics” can be misleading as it simply lists topics when there is no new or unread content. And I would not call a topic from January 2023 “new”.
I’m not sure how topics are chosen nowadays but I found

I cannot check the topic for more details. Is this still the way “New & Unread Topics” are picked? Why was the title changed form “suggested topics” to “new & unread topics” when those topics can also be random topics?


Perhaps they could remove this from the algorithm to help improve the New & Unread Topics. Nobody would consider random topics to be “new”

My idea for this would be to delete “new” topics from the “new topics” tab after about a week so that users don’t stumble on old topics in their “new” tab by accident. [perhaps make this adjustable for users]

They can also dismiss the new topics though.

I think this happened when we wanted to add a “related” tab… so we have “suggested” and “related” which seems unclear. I agree that “new & unread” doesn’t capture all the possibilities… but it’s a tricky naming scenario.

Was the topic already read?

I think so. I think all topics that were shown were “topics from that category”, which I had already read. How can I check whether I have read a topic?

1 Like

Along the same lines, the “New” and “Unread” tab have a line at the bottom stating “there are no more XYZ topics”, instead of “there are no more new XYZ topics” and “there are no more unread XYZ topics”

TBH I think the whole new/unread and top/hot/latest distinctions and nuances are very confusing to the average user.

  • “Unread” should be just a filter on latest and capture both new and unread
  • “Top” is pretty useless
  • “Hot” can be handy for the hacker news type of ordering

So basically all you need is Latest and Hot.

Do you have usage data that gives you insights in how much all those options are being used?

1 Like

I should start new topic, but can we take a small and fast sidestep? What the heck is Hot? I know how to show it, but what there should be?


It’s top recent! Not to be confused with Top.
This is exactly what I mean. It’s confusing even for seasoned users.

1 Like

This is the idea behind the “new new” tab, which is an opt-in experiment at the moment and would eliminate “unread” for a combined /new route (which could be filtered to topics/posts if desired)

Related topic: The "new new" has been enabled on Meta

It might not be useful day-to-day, but it’s shown to returning users if they haven’t been around for a while. The idea being “this is the most active stuff you missed while you were away.” I use it to catch up occasionally.

Hot is very new (only added within the past week) and still something we’re experimenting with (the algorithm might change, we’re going to try including AI summaries, the topic list layout may be different, etc)

So I think you’re probably right, but we’re still figuring it out.