Just ahead of the Super Bowl, the Oscars and the Winter Olympics, Facebook has launched a redesigned Trending section on the web. The update is an effort to make Facebook the place to know what’s going on in the real-time zeitgeist. And, the comparison to Twitter’s Trending Topics is obvious.
Trending is “designed to surface interesting and relevant conversations in order to help you discover the best content from all across Facebook,” according to the announcement. The lists are personalized to some extent, based on “things you’re interested in”.
When users click on a topic, they are taken to a trending Page of both public posts and posts by friends about the topic. The description, which gives the trending topic context that Twitter’s Trending Topics does not, is actually a headline pulled from one of the posts that’s causing the topic to trend. After clicking on the “Golden Globes” trending topic above, for example, at the top of the page is the Buzzfeed article with the trending headline. Compared to Twitter, most of the trending topics we’ll see on Facebook are likely to be driven by publishers that post publicly, and less likely to be every day users.
Trending is currently rolling out on the web in US, UK, Canada, India and Australia, according to Techcrunch. Facebook says it is continuing to test the product on mobile.