What Happened: Twitter is the founder of social media’s trending topic – and continually evolves it through new developments (e.g., geotargeted trends, the ad capability with promoted trends). But other platforms have taken a page from Twitter’s playbook and feature their own trending topics. Reddit and Facebook, for example, added the trending feature and built on it by including a short description of the conversation taking place. Then Twitter recognized the value in this and has announced that it also will begin rolling out a new trending topics format for its mobile app. Now, trending topics will appear below the search bar instead of on the Discover tab, which has been eliminated. With the new format and location, trending topics are going to have short descriptions of the hashtag or topic, something that Facebook has had since it launched its Trending feature.
What This Means for Brands: Twitter’s Discover tab was intended to aggregate tweets, photos and accounts together to form a complete story – but it never quite accomplished what it set out to do. This announcement may not necessarily have large implications when it comes to developing creative or an overall campaign strategy, but it is sure to affect how brands monitor the news and spot trends. Twitter might have lost its trending edge, as hashtags became confusing to follow and stories were continually harder to piece together. But now, social media managers and those responsible for spotting trends for brands will be able to return to Twitter, using it as a key source of trends, rather than searching for supplemental topic content for a story they heard first somewhere else.