Using Twitter, users can find out why certain topics are trending by adding context with a representative tweet.

The company says people should be able to understand immediately why something is trending.

With the way the trending section is now designed, it's not always easy to understand why a topic ended up there.

Anecdotally, I've found that a lot of trending topics are full of people wondering why the topic is trending in the first place.

Indeed, when asked, "Why is this trending?" was tweeted over half a million times in the past year.

To make it clearer why a topic is trending, a pinned tweet and description are displayed next to trends to add context.

"All over Twitter, we've been working to give people more context about what's happening with labels on tweets and accounts, as well as curated pages (aka moments) and related articles on trends.

To help this out, we're adding pinned tweets and descriptions of trends to explain why something is trending. "

Twitter shows why topics are trending

Representative tweets

This update is based on the idea that it only takes the right tweet to understand why something is trending.

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Twitter calls this a representative tweet, and that's exactly what users find under certain trends.

A representative tweet is only pinned to “some” trends, not all.

Given the speed with which trending topics can come and go, it would be unrealistic to promise representative tweets for everyone.

If the whole process were automated this could possibly be achieved, but there is a human curation team involved in choosing the right tweet for each trend.

Twitter, along with its curation team, uses algorithms to determine how well a tweet represents a particular trend.

The algorithms are used to identify representative tweets that may not be abused, spammed, or posted by accounts attempting to take advantage of Twitter systems.

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After Twitter's algorithms identify an appropriate tweet for a specific topic, the curation team assesses whether it is both trending and popular.

Representative tweets are now published on Twitter for iOS and Android. They will eventually also be added to the browser version of Twitter.

Here is an example of what the trending section looks like at the time of this writing:

Twitter shows why topics are trending

As you can see, it's easy to see why these particular trends are popular.

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However, representative tweets do not accompany most trends. Only 4 of the top 10 topics had an accompanying tweet when I checked.

That will of course vary from one moment to the next, depending on what is currently happening.

Descriptions come later

As mentioned earlier, Twitter plans to add not only representative tweets on trending topics, but also a brief description.

Twitter users will have to wait a little longer as the descriptions will be published later.

“In the coming weeks some trends should be briefly described to add context to the trend. Descriptions provide a simple, well-defined context about why something is trending.

Descriptions are developed by our curation team and follow their guidelines. "

Twitter shows why topics are trending

As Twitter adds the trending topic descriptions, it will be added to both the mobile app and twitter.com.

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Source: Twitter

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