Facebook Web Service Announces Twitter-Style Trending Topics

by Dale Wright

Facebook Trending Topics Launch

Facebook has launched a Trending topics feature, similar to the one that’s already available on Twitter.

The Facebook Trending officially rolled out in the US, UK, Canada, India and Australia today but the social network has been trialling the feature for a while.  The introduction of Trending comes after the success of Facebook’s use of hashtags, a similarly Twitter feature.

Facebook Trending is a bit different from Twitter though, as it won’t just show you the biggest stories from across the site.  Users will also see topics shared by their friends or by Pages they’ve previously Liked.  Facebook is obviously trying to make its Trends more personalized to each individual user’s interests, something that might pay off well for them.  If you click on a Trend you’re interested in, it will display posts from your friends and Pages on that particular subject.

Facebook Logo

At first glance, it looks like Facebook Trending will be more helpful to users than Twitter Trending Topics.  However, Facebook Trending only pulls through content from users who post publicly, so you might not be likely to get a good view of what your friends think on a subject.  It’s probably more likely to be useful for seeing what other news sites or businesses are saying about something, making it actually pretty different from Twitter’s Trend service.

On the subject of the Trending launch, Facebook’s engineering manager Chris Struhar said: “Facebook is a space where people from all over the world gather every day to share their thoughts and participate in real-time conversations, from the highlights of the Golden Globes to the passing of Nelson Mandela.”

The Trending feature is only available for a handful of countries at the moment but if it’s successful, you can bet Facebook will roll it out to more locations.  It’s also in testing for mobile, so you’ll see it on your iOS and Android apps pretty soon.