Twitter Will Be Adding Context To Trending Topics Via Example Tweets And Curated Descriptions

A trending topic on Twitter’s platform shows what everyone is talking about right now. However, we sometimes look at one word or phrase trending on the social media platform and ask ‘why is this specific word or phrase trending on Twitter?’ In a blog post, Twitter wrote that this particular question was tweeted more than 500K times during 2019. The company has been working to provide more context on what is happening with labels on tweets and accounts and related articles on trends.

The trending topics lists of Twitter can be problematic for several different reasons, for instance, the algorithm of Twitter will sometimes highlight offensive terms, or the trends sometimes amplify divisive issues. And a lot of time, it is just not clear why a specific phrase is trending on the social media platform. Now, the company is going to help people discover why a certain topic is trending on Twitter. On Tuesday, the company announced in a blog post that Twitter will provide context to trending topics on the social media platform via representative tweets as well as curated descriptions.

The company wrote in the blog post that a right tweet can sometimes help make sense of a trend, and starting today, a representative tweet will be pinned to trends to provide more insight about a specific trend. The algorithms of Twitter and its curation team determine if a specific tweet represents a trend. Twitter’s algorithms and curation team evaluate if a tweet is very reflective of a specific trend and popular on Twitter’s platform. The company’s algorithms are designed to identify representative tweets that are not spam, or posted by Twitter accounts that are trying to take advantage of the platform’s system. It is worth noting that the platform will not show representative tweets for all trends.

Although it is a small change, it is an important one in the broader context of the company simplifying the on-platform experience. In 2015, the company acknowledged that it had struggled to connect with the mass market. Many people found it difficult to understand, and even more difficult to use Twitter. The company was struggling to find new ways to attract a larger audience, and Twitter has been focusing to simplify the on-platform experience. Adding more context to trending topics on Twitter is the latest effort of the company to make its platform easier to understand. The company has started rolling Representative tweets on Twitter for Android and iOS, and it is working to bring them to the web version of Twitter.

Photo: REUTERS/Mike Blake

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