Facebook now has trending topics — but unlike Twitter’s, these are personal

Image Credit: Owen W Brown

Twitter’s trending topics are a joke. Come on, do you really care about every single basketball game or Justin Bieber song or boy-girl-stereotype everyone in the world is talking about?

Of course you don’t. That’s why Facebook has one-upped the game with its own version of trending topics — this time, actually based on you, your friends, what you like, and where you live.

Today, as previously promised, Facebook is announcing Trending, which will show a range of topics in the top right corner of your news feed.

“News Feed is about conversations, but up until now, it hasn’t been possible to see what conversations are most interesting across all of Facebook,” said News Feed engineer Chris Struhar in a phone conversation with VentureBeat.

“We try to personalize content based on what you’re going to be interested in,” he added.

Here’s how that breaks down: Similar to Twitter’s trending topics, these are algorithmically generated based on a sudden huge spike in updates across the social network.

But unlike Twitter’s feature, Facebook Trending will show different topics for every person on the network.

Example: I like the RuPaul’s Drag Race page on Facebook, and so does a sizable handful of my gay guy friends, like Shaun. So when one of the queens has an on-camera meltdown and snatches another queen’s wig off, I’ll see the official photo update from the RuPaul’s Drag Race page as well as Shaun’s hilarious commentary.

My husband will not see all this; instead, he’ll see updates from his college buddies about a Penn State football game. Hit the snooze button, y’all!

Trends get refreshed continuously. Right now, you can’t filter trends manually, and there will be no ads in Trending topics — again, for now. Rollout starts today in a handful of countries. You’ll see Trending in Facebook mobile apps soon — it’s still being tested.

Here’s what it looks like on desktop:


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