File picture: Reuters/Kacper Pempel
File picture: Reuters/Kacper Pempel

Twitter to add more context to trends

By Masabata Mkwananzi Time of article published Sep 8, 2020

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Johannesburg - Social media giant Twitter will soon be adding more context to help explain trending topics.

To help with this, the company will be adding pinned Tweets and descriptions on trends to help explain why something is trending.

While other tweets may be straightforward and need no explanations, others are often confusing and a lot of times users find themselves scrolling down on certain trends to try and figure out why a topic is trending.

The company said last year alone a large number of users started asking ‘Why is this trending?’ That question alone was actually tweeted over half a million times. Twitter says it should be easier for users to understand what is being said immediately. And to help with that, the company will have a representative tweet pinned to some trends to help users with insight about a trend right away.

“We've been working to bring people more context on what’s happening with labels on Tweets and accounts as well as curated pages and related articles on trends. We’re adding pinned Tweets and descriptions on trends to help explain why something is trending,” said the company in a statement.

A combination of algorithms and the companies curation team will determine if a Tweet represents a trend by evaluating if the Tweet is reflective of the trend and popularity. The company says the algorithms are designed to identify representative Tweets that are not potentially abusive, spam, or posted by accounts trying to take advantage of their system.

The pinned Tweet feature is available both on iOS and Android for now. According to the company, the web version will be available soon as they are still working on it.

In addition to pinned Tweets, users will also see brief descriptions added to some trends as well to help add context to the trend. According to Twitter, descriptions will provide users with a straightforward, clear sourced context around why something is trending.

Descriptions on trends will be rolled out in the coming weeks to a few countries and will also be available on iOS, Android and the web.


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