What Do Twitter Trends Mean?

June 15, 2012
A trend on Twitter refers to a hashtag-driven topic that is immediately popular at a particular time. A hashtag is a keyword or phrase that is preceded with a pound (#) sign, as with #NBAFinals or #USElections. Trends are determined by an algorithm that monitors hot subjects based on who you follow and where you're located. It presents activity based on real-time hashtag use and not topics that have been popular for a while. In short, what you see on the trending list are more likely related to the topics that matter to you and the online community where you belong. If you're interested in seeing trends that are not within your network, you can check the Twitter home page, the discover feature or do an active search on the web. You can easily see what's trending on the left side of the page.

Going Beyond Your Location

You can see trends outside of your network by clicking Customize in the Trends box and then selecting a specific location. If you want to see what's trending all over the world, you can choose Worldwide or a particular country. Twitter also has a feature for more advanced searches.

When You Click On A Trend

Because trends are characterized by hashtags, they are automatically clickable. When you do so, you will be led to a list of all the Tweets using that hashtag all over the world. If you want to see the comments made on a previous trend, you can just search for the keyword to draw up its corresponding list.

I Want To Join A Trend

To join, all you do is post a tweet that includes the exact word or phrase as it appears in the Trends list, as with a hashtag. In trends where large volumes of micro-bloggers participate, you might not easily find your post in the list, but your own followers will surely be able to see what you've posted. You might also want to join a Twitter Party or a Tweet Chat and exchange thoughts with like-minded micro-bloggers.

How To Create A Trend

A trend happens to hashtag-driven topics that have been used in conversations the most number of times. Because this can be abused by marketers, Twitter has released a set of rules?and immediately filters out posts that are blatantly selling a hashtag or do not make any sense at all just to reach trending status. Tweets that carry a hashtag without really adding value to the conversation will also be filtered out. Tweeting about a trend and then linking it to something totally unrelated is also a violation of the rules. A trending topic does not just signify popularity. It is also translates to a win for whoever is the subject of the trend. For example, if the TV series #GameofThrones is trending, it gives the show's producers leverage against advertisers, allowing them to command a higher price for advertising slots during the show.

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