Facebook now shows trending topics in the news feed

Facebook has been testing the Twitter like feature trending topics for a while and last week there were reports that the trending topics had been moved from the sidebar to the news feed. Yesterday I noticed an example of this for the topic “Philippines”.

One interesting aspect of this is that now Facebook is showing me two posts from people or pages that I don’t follow (the latter two of three seen below).

facebook trending topics

facebook trending topics

Twitter’s trending topics need some fine tuning

This week Twitter added about 70 new locations for “trending topics”, i.e. what Twitter defines as topics, hashtags or key words that are currently getting a surge in mentions. Sweden is one of the new countries for which Twitter displays trending topics and while the service has been up and running only a day or two, we can already start to suspect that it’s accuracy is not entirely perfect yet.

twitter trending topics sweden My first point: local trending topics seem to count words that are mentioned in URLs’, giving major media outlets too much impact on the results, since their content is widely shared across Twitter. First evidence, yesterday the tabloid “Aftonbladet” was one of ten trending topics but many of the tweets that showed up, were in fact not mentioning “Aftonbladet” other than the URL Aftonbladet.se, often hidden in a bit.ly-link. Second evidence, today “Expressen” the rivalling tabloid is a trending topic, with the same boost in mentions from URLs as Aftonbladet. I don’t think that this is intentional and I suspect that Twitter would adjust their algorithm if they were aware of the problem.

My second point: the hashtag #cheerupjustin is barely being used at all in Sweden, still it is trending here. The term “English” is also trending, and although a Twitter search in Swedish gives us many results, few of them are in Swedish and/or by Swedish users. It is probably difficult for Twitter to determine which tweets are related to Sweden and therefor tweets from other countries affect our results.

It’s great to be able to track trends also in the Swedish market, but use the trending topics with caution as they may not always be entirely accurate.

Japanese clothing brand trending on Twitter

The Japanese retail clothing chain Uniqlo is currently the most tweeted topic on Twitter, thanks to a creative promotion campaign for their 26th anniversary. On Uniqlo’s site users can add their Twitter user name in order to win special gifts. Each participant gets a unique number in a virtual line and has the chance to win based on their Lucky Line Quene Number.

As soon as a person joins the competition, he or she also tweets the line “UNIQLO LUCKY LINEに行列なう。” and their queue number. Currently there are hundreds of tweets per minute and the total amount is currently close to 39,000, and growing very rapidly.

uniqlo lucky line

Not all commenters are positive to the flood of tweets. Some compare it to spam.

More details on Whatthetrend.com.


Update: The volume of tweets is quite extraordinary. The time from tweet #6 to #50,000 is about one day. (haven’t been able to locate tweet #1).