The new philosophy behind Twitter Trends (hint: it’s all about you)

Twitter is today redefining the word “trend” for each of its 140 million users, changing the philosophy and algorithm behind its what’s-hot formula to be unique to you.

The information network, which announced the change in a blog post Tuesday, said that Twitter Trends will, by default, be based around who you follow and your location. The new tailored Trends will appear on the Discover, Search, and Home pages (as usual) on Twitter’s website and in its mobile applications for iPhone and Android.

Above: Tailored trends are all about you

“Before, the Trends algorithms were not affected by these signals,” a Twitter spokesperson told VentureBeat. “The Trends algorithms will continue to identify topics that are immediately popular, rather than topics that have been popular for a while or on a daily basis, to help you discover the hottest emerging topics of discussion on Twitter that matter most to you.”

Trends have been the gateway to discovering the most buzz-worthy, what’s-happening-right-now moments across the world. Though what Twitter chooses to promote — or not promote — has often come under fire. Today’s switch, then, isn’t just a little tweak, it’s a radical change in philosophy, where Trends have less to do with the world at large and more to do with what’s important in your world.

For most, the algorithmic change to Trends will usher in an era of bliss, where, if you choose who to follow wisely, Justin Bieber hashtag memes will never cross your path again. For others, especially those looking for free promotion (read: exposure) atop Twitter’s Trend list, the formula switch could be unsettling and obscure an onslaught of cause-based tweets.

Tailored trends are now being gradually rolled out to users over the next several days, the company said. Users can optionally select individual countries and cities to see Trends in those locations.

Photo credit: eric may/Flickr


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