Trends show what everyone is talking about right now. But too often, we look at one word or phrase trending on Twitter and ask, “why is this trending?” That question was actually Tweeted over half a million times over the last year! It should be easier to understand what’s being said immediately. Throughout Twitter, we've been working to bring people more context on what’s happening with labels on Tweets and accounts as well as curated pages (aka Moments) and related articles on trends. To help with this, we’re adding pinned Tweets and descriptions on trends to help explain why something is trending.
Sometimes the right Tweet can help make sense of a trend. Starting today, some trends will have a representative Tweet pinned to them to give you more insight about a trend right away. A combination of algorithms and our curation team determine if a Tweet represents a trend by evaluating if the Tweet is very reflective of the trend and popular. Our algorithms are designed to identify representative Tweets that aren’t potentially abusive, spam, or posted by accounts trying to take advantage of our system. Representative Tweets on trends can be found on Twitter for iOS and Android now. We’re working to bring them to twitter.com soon too.
In the coming weeks, you should see brief descriptions added to some trends as well to help add context to the trend. Descriptions will provide straightforward, clearly sourced context around why something is trending. Descriptions are developed by our curation team and follow their guidelines. Descriptions on trends will be found on twitter.com and Twitter for iOS and Android.
Representative Tweets and descriptions on trends will be available in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Egypt, France, India, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Spain, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States. To bring more clarity to the conversation, we hope to add more context to more trends over time.
To be clear, we know there is more work to do to improve trends and the context updates we’re announcing today are just a small step in the right direction. There is more we can do to help people understand why something is trending and to provide transparency around how something trends. We need to make trends better and we will.
Did someone say … cookies?