Twitter trends in your area: 8 things to keep in mind

Everyone knows what Twitter trends are. Or do they? It’s a feature that is unique to Twitter, yet is a source of constant debate. Image credit: Chris J. Davis on Unsplash
Image credit: Chris J. Davis on Unsplash

Everyone knows what Twitter trends are. Or do they? It’s a feature that is unique to Twitter, yet is a source of constant debate.

In fact, Twitter launched a special emoji or hashflag as part of Global Media and Information Literacy Week (Oct. 24-31). This is meant to encourage people to #ThinkBeforeSharing as a way to empower healthy conversations. The emoji appears when people use the following hashtags in their tweet: #GlobalMILWeek, #magisipbagomagshare, and #magisipbagomagclick. Twitter partnered with UNESCO for this year’s theme on “Resisting Disinfodemic: Media & Information Literacy for everyone & by everyone”.

8 things to know about Twitter trends

Want to better understand how Twitter trends work? Here are eight things to keep in mind.

  • There’s an algorithm. Trends are determined by an algorithm. By default, trends are tailored for you based on who you follow, your interests, and your location. However, you can change this by selecting a specific trends location (for example, the Philippines) and you will then see popular topics among people in that specific geographic location.
  • It’s all about numbers, right? No. Trends reflect what’s happening right now and aim to help you to discover the hottest emerging topics of discussion on Twitter at that moment in time. Twitter doesn’t count all the tweets on a particular topic and list those with the most tweets.
  • Isn’t it all about hashtags? No. Hashtags are indeed part of trends, but words and phrases are also measured and included. Twitter also groups together related hashtags. For example, #MondayMotivation and #MotivationMonday may both be represented by #MondayMotivation in trends.

What’s trending?

  • How can I see Tweets that are part of a trend? Click or tap on any of the trends on the list and it will take you to the search results of that trend. Here you can see all the tweets that include the respective phrase, word, or hashtag. If you wish to view tweets about a previous trend that is no longer listed, simply use Twitter’s search feature.
  • Can I participate in a trend? Absolutely! Tweet the exact phrase, word, or hashtag that appears on the trends list and you are now part of that trend. Note: Twitter does filter searches for quality. To better understand what types of behavior could cause your tweets to be filtered out, read Twitter’s search rules and restrictions.
  • Do trends have descriptions? Sometimes. Below some trends you may see information such as the approximate number of tweets or personalized context such as who in your network is tweeting about it. When tweet volume is shown, you will see that it’s not always the case that those with more tweets appear above those with fewer tweets. As explained in No. 2 above, trends are not about the total tweets on a subject, but reflect what’s happening right now.

Healthy discussions

  • Are there any topics that are restricted from trending? Yes. Twitter wants trends to promote healthy discussions. This means that at times Twitter may prevent certain content from trending. For example, trends that:
  1. Contain profanity or adult/graphic references.
  2. Incite hate on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or disease.
  3. Violate the Twitter Rules.
  • Are there any paid trend options on Twitter? Organic trends work as outlined above, and within the parameters of the Twitter Rules. These cannot be bought. Twitter does, however, also offer two paid options:
  1. Promoted Trends – this is a 24-hour high-impact promotion popular with brands. To ensure transparency, all Promoted Trends are clearly marked as such in the trends list and Promoted Trends must follow Twitter’s Promoted Trend guidelines.
  2. Promoted Trend Spotlight – this is a visual advertising format that appears above the Trends list. It supports videos and GIFs of up to six seconds, as well as static images.

Trends are available on all Twitter formats — iOS app, Android app, and On Twitter’s mobile apps, you can find trends listed under the trends section of the Explore tab. When signed in to on a desktop or laptop computer, trends are listed in many places, including the Home timeline, notifications, search results, and profile pages.

Find out more about how Twitter trends work.

So, what’s trending in your area?