Twitter Begins Adding Context to Trending Topics

Brief descriptions and representative tweets will appear for select ones

“Why is this trending?” was tweeted more than 500,000 times over the past year Twitter

Twitter began adding context to some of its Trending topics last week in order to give its users more clarity on why those topics are being discussed on its platform.

Product trust partner Liz Lee and product manager Frank Oppong wrote in a blog post that the question, “Why is this trending?,” was tweeted more than 500,000 times over the past year.

In the coming weeks, users in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Egypt, France, India, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Spain, the United Arab Emirates, the U.K. and the U.S., on Android, iOS and, will begin seeing brief descriptions on selected Trending topics, and Lee and Oppong said they “will provide straightforward, clearly sourced context around why something is trending.”

Representative tweets related to the topics will also be available on Android and iOS, with to be added soon.

Lee and Oppong wrote, “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.” David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.