Facebook introduces Trending topics – but will it work?

Posted on February 17, 2014


Social giant Facebook has launched a Twitter-style feature that keeps users abreast of the network’s trending topics.

The new ‘Trending’ section – which can be found at the top right-hand side of a user’s newsfeed – highlights popular topics, and clicking on any of the items in the list will present a user with related news stories, blogs, feature articles, videos and other related media.

In the same vein as Twitter’s ‘Trends’ feature – through which people can look at popular topics and see what other users are saying about them – the new Facebook feature may allow its users to feel more connected by interacting with others who aren’t currently on their friends list.

However, it remains to be seen if the feature will be as successful on Facebook as it has been with its biggest rival, Twitter.

The best way to encourage interaction and engagement on social networks is through relevance – avoiding spammy sales techniques and instead presenting followers and fans with quality content. Just as this is true for brands using social media in their internet marketing strategies, so too is it the case for social networks.

Twitter trends work so well because they are organic and localised – giving precedence to topics trending near to where an individual user is based.

At present, the trending subjects on Facebook look more like promoted topics than organically trending themes. Comparing Facebook’s trending list to Twitter’s, the bulk of Facebook’s popular subjects concern big films or upcoming video games – such as The Lego Movie, House of Cards and Titanfall, an upcoming action game for the Xbox One and Xbox 360 games consoles. Twitter’s trending topics, on the other hand, recently included ITV sitcom Benidorm and the Channel 4 programme Big Ballet.

Richard is a Web Content Editor at Engage Web. He has had work published in a number of independent magazines and spends much of his spare time writing short stories.

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