How are the Trending Topics Decided?

The Trends section on Twitter, better known as trending topics, is one of the platform’s great values. There are few quick and accurate ways to take the pulse of current events online than to take a look at the summary of home page trends or go a little deeper into the Discover tab.

How do you decide about what belongs to a trending topic?

Twitter tells us from the corporate website that:

“An algorithm determines which topics are trending in the chosen location [global, national or large cities]. This algorithm identifies the topics that are popular immediately instead of those that have been popular for a long time or are continuously popular, to help users discover the hottest topics of conversation among the emerging ones on Twitter. “

In other words, to prevent recurring themes such as Justin Bieber, #FF or risk premium monopolize the top positions of the Trends list, Twitter gives priority to the volume of tweets but posted in a short period of time. Thus, the trending topics mark the actuality and not the informative trajectory.

This is one of the main advantages of using this algorithm: if the main attraction of Twitter is the conversation in real time, the top ten of trending topics can not remain unchanged for days or weeks.


It is inevitable that the combination of number of tweets and short period of time provoke “bombings”: being at the top of the list of unpaid trendings topics is a very precious position, which sometimes leads the company / collective concerned to produce a huge amount of tweets to artificially raise a hashtag.

Also frequent are the offensives of singers’ fans from the Disney factory that fix a day and time to position one of their war cries. At the moment this does not mean a great loss because only 2 or 3 posts are usually occupied in this way: the other 7 trending topics continue to provide us with all the necessary information per minute.