by Kevin on May 14, 2010
The usefulness of Twitter’s “Trending Topics” sidebar area has been widely debated, and it has largely been gamed in the past. When developing topics are widely tweeted, it’ll be ranked among the top trends. Based on this information, many users have added hashtags or joined in the conversation around the most popular topics.
The previous algorithm allowed some trends to be displayed for days, if not weeks on end, which really made the feature less useful for seeing what is really popular. On Friday, Twitter confirmed that a new method of ranking the topics was integrated, stating that it will also not “block” any topics from trending, but the “old” popular topics will be removed.
I am already noticing that more new topics are being added to the “Top Trending Topics” sidebar list. I suspect that new methods of discovering the top trends will become available directly on Twitter in the future, some of which will be aimed at corporate/business users and advertisers.