Lately, people on social media have been getting more and more familiar with the concept of “trends”. A trend comes upon a social media platform, and suddenly, everyone is talking about it. However, the fact that there’s not much of a filtration process for what is being circulated and discussed is troubling.
Trends show what everyone is talking about right now. The question “why is this trending?” was Tweeted over half a million times over the last year. Twitter has been working to bring people more context on what’s happening with labels on Tweets and accounts as well as curated pages (also known as Moments) and related articles on trends. To help with this, Twitter is adding pinned Tweets and descriptions on trends to help explain why something is trending.
Sometimes the right Tweet can help make sense of a trend. Starting today, some trends will have a representative Tweet pinned to them to give people more insight about a trend right away. A combination of algorithms and Twitter’s curation team determine if a Tweet represents a trend by evaluating if the Tweet is very reflective of the trend and popular. Twitter’s algorithms are designed to identify representative Tweets that aren’t potentially abusive, spam, or posted by accounts trying to take advantage of its system. Representative Tweets on trends can be found on Twitter for iOS and Android now. Twitter is working to bring them to twitter.com soon too.
In the coming weeks, people will see brief descriptions added to some trends as well to help add context to the trend. Descriptions will provide straightforward, clearly sourced context around why something is trending. Descriptions are developed by Twitter’s curation team and follow their guidelines. Descriptions on trends will be found on twitter.com and Twitter for iOS and Android.
Representative Tweets and descriptions on trends will be available in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Egypt, France, India, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Spain, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States. The descriptions will be in Arabic in Egypt, UAE, and Saudi Arabia. To bring more clarity to the conversation, Twitter aims to add more context to more trends over time.
Twitter will continue to work on improving trends to help people understand why something is trending and to provide transparency around how something trends.
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