Hot on the heels of Facebook’s introduction of hashtags, a feature traditionally associated with Twitter, comes news that they’re testing another mainstay of Twitter; Trending Topics. In an email to Techcrunch, Facebook confirm that the feature is currently being tested on the mobile version of Facebook by a small number percentage of US users.
Trending Topics would be a natural follow-on from hashtags for Facebook, as no doubt hashtags would make up a fair proportion of the trends, just like they do on Twitter. Together, the two features would provide a real time pulse of what’s currently happening on Facebook, both from Pages and updates that members have set as Public.
Trending Topics were introduced by Twitter in 2008 and 2 years later were monetised with the addition of Promoted Trends. These enable brands to have a topic, for example, a hashtag for a campaign, positioned in the number 1 Trending Topics spot. It’s likely that Facebook’s Trending Topics will work in a similar way to Twitter’s and also have a promoted type of topic, thus providing another revenue stream.
Even if the testing goes well it’s likely to be some time before Facebook roll out this new feature as no doubt they’ll follow the pattern of a launch announcement, a rollout to US users then a wider rollout. This process can take some time. For example, Graph Search was announced in January but has yet to reach UK English users.
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