In another step towards becoming exactly like Twitter, Facebook this week started testing ‘trending topics’ on its homepage. According to technology website AllThingsD, the trending topics – like they do on Twitter – will act as a sort of billboard of what Facebook users are mot talking about.
Facebook has said that they will be testing the feature with a small percentage of US users at first. “Users will see a a banner flagging a particular topic,” said AllThingsD. “If they click on it, they’ll see what some of their friends are saying about it, and then they’ll see comments and posts from people they don’t know.”
Facebook then confirmed the news to Mashable website. “Today we started running a small test that displays topics trending on Facebook,” a Facebook rep told Mashable. “It is currently only available to a small percentage of U.S. users who use Facebook’s mobile web site (m.facebook.com) and is still in very early stages of development.”
This is only the latest feature that Facebook has imported from Twitter. Previously, Facebook had taken “@” replies, hashtags, identity verification for the rich and famous, and the option to “follow” people.
But in a way, introducing trending topics is part and parcel of introducing hashtags. While the earlier hashtag feature did allow you to see what other users were saying, nothing was being placed in context, ie, there was no way of knowing what everyone was talking about with hashtags.