It has come to this. Facebook is starting to step on the toes of rival social media site Twitter. After snagging the latter’s popular hashtag feature, the most popular social networking site in the world has rolled out another striking service that may be seen as adopted from Twitter—the trending topics section.
In fairness to Facebook, it is not the first to adopt the popular Twitter feature. Social media sites like YouTube, Quora, and Google+ have also already implemented the trending topics feature in their respective Websites.
But Facebook’s trending topics section will not roll out globally yet. The company has announced that the feature will initially be available to users in the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, and India. There is no announcement yet about the timetable for rolling out in other countries.
The inclusion of trending topics in Facebook has been anticipated for quite some time now. In August last year, there were already reports that the social networking Website was testing the planned section among a small percentage of its users in the US.
The new Trending box will appear on the homepage’s top right side. Each entry will ne denoted by blue arrows that seem squiggly. As expected, the topics that are trending can vary from popular celebrities to ongoing events and the most happening places. In other words, anything can be trending on Facebook.
Every topic will also be accompanied by a distinct and bold headline with a short explanation about it and some words about why it is trending. To open separate feeds of comprehensive and dedicated articles, a user has to click on a topic that he finds interesting. He can open separate pages for videos, articles, photos, and status updates from public pages, fans and friends. Take note that to provide privacy, Facebook has made sure that only posts that are shared by friends or are made public will be shared or appear on the section.
Interestingly, Facebook is also set to use a special algorithm that will help it identify and highlight topics that are being talked about in the site. It will prioritize sharp increases in popularity of subjects instead of the total volume of comments and posts about the subjects.
Of course, the trending box will also be updated constantly and automatically. The subjects listed may change as the day goes by.