Facebook has started testing a “trending” topics section in its homepage news feed that is similar to its rival Twitter’s “trends box" that showcases topics that are popular on the site.
According to a recent WSJ report, the trending column will appear on the right hand side of the Facebook News Feed. The column will highlight all the topics which are currently popular on the site, including hashtags which the company rolled out in June this year. The more people will mention a particular hashtag or topic the more its chances of being displayed on the Trending topics column.
Facebook currently displays a covert version of the Trending Topics to its users. If you go to the News Feed section you will find a post by a friend accompanied by a tag from Facebook stating that may have been a hundred posts about this topic. A separate Trending Topics column would highlight popular topics and will open a different page where you can check out all the posts about it.
Twitter, has been featuring hashtags and trending topics for years and is seen as the hub for tracking emerging conversations. Now Facebook is also seizing territory with hashtags, embedded posts and “trending” section for its mobile website. The trending section will offer advantage in wooing advertisers to spend more money on mobile and desktop ads.
Facebook has not confirmed whether the feature will be rolled out or not. A Facebook spokeswoman stated that, “We are running a small test of a unit on News Feed. Right now it only available to a small percentage of US users and it is still in the early stages of development.”