Facebook Tests Out Trending Topics

facebook trending topics

While the failure of hashtags on Facebook has been widely discussed, hope for this feature may have finally arrived. Facebook is currently testing a “trending” section to show what topics are currently popular on the social network. This section first came out as an experimental feature in the Facebook mobile app, and it has now been released to a limited number of users on desktop to be tested. While the details of the feature are uncertain, it is likely that this feature will lead to an expansion in the use of hashtags on Facebook.

The Trending Box

The “trending” box on Facebook was first discovered by The Wall Street Journal. This box sits in the upper right corner of the News Feed, where you would normally see notifications for events and app requests. The feature is similar to the trending section on Twitter, which has long been a staple of the website. Experts note that this trending box will escalate tension between the two most popular social media sites. Facebook and Twitter have both introduced and discussed many new features that make the two networks more and more similar, such as changes to their feeds and the introduction of hashtags on Facebook.

Are We Finally Seeing the Expansion of Hashtags?

Hopefully, the potential introduction of trending topics means that hashtags will finally start to mean something on Facebook. Tech Crunch notes that while Twitter is a social network with an open model, Facebook is much more private; therefore, hashtags and trending topics may not work as well. However, because Facebook has a much larger user base (1.1 billion vs. Twitter’s 115 million), hashtags and trending topics may just need further implementation and integration into the site to catch on. Hashtags have been proven to significantly increase user engagement on Twitter, meaning that if they are more widely adopted on Facebook, similar results could be seen.

Do you think hashtags trending topics will work as well on Facebook as they do on Twitter?

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Elizabeth K

Elizabeth Kent is a recent graduate with an M.A. in Women’s and Gender Studies from Brandeis University. She earned her B.A. from Smith College with a major in the Study of Women and Gender and a minor in Jewish Studies. Elizabeth recently relocated from the Boston area back to Western Massachusetts, where she spends her free time volunteering with a local non-profit organization. Elizabeth has worked as a writing tutor, archival intern, research assistant, and retail associate. Her interests include studying pop culture, kittens, and making meals with as little cooking as possible.

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