July 18, 2014
By: Hannah Wheeless @tweetsonwheels
From flip phones to iPhones, G2G to BAE, and highwaisted shorts to- well back to high waisted shorts, the latest trend is something we’ve all strived to keep up with at some point in our lives. Trends tell us what’s new or popular so we can be a part of it.
By collecting the most mentioned topics, phrases and words in social media posts, different platforms can display them for all their users to see allowing the opportunity to engage with others in the online community. With an opportunity like that, many social networks couldn’t pass up utilizing this trending concept.
HOW IT WORKS
Hashtags may be the first place your mind goes to when thinking of trends. The introduction of the hashtag on social media allows users to categorize their posts making popular or trending topics appear in a column on the newsfeed or home page. However, trends can be created with or without a hashtag. Using a specific word or phrase in a post categorizes it with any other users post that also includes that word or phrase. After enough users start chatting about that specific topic, it becomes a trending topic.
WHO DOES IT BEST
Hashtags and Twitter go together like bricks and Court Street. The categorizing of trends through hashtags allows users to instantly engage in conversations with fellow tweeters about anything from the Scandal finale to record breaking brick wall, Tim Howard. This hashtag concept has quickly been adopted by other platforms including Facebook, Vine, Pinterest and Instagram. Searching a word or phrase in theses platforms will lead you to a page that compiles photos, status updates or posts with that same topic.
Instagram uses trends the same way as its fellow social media friends. However, because Instagram is limited to only sharing images, they only have the “explore” page that displays images based on accounts you follow, images you’ve liked, as well as popular trending images within your area and around the world.
Whether you’re on YouTube for some laughs from your favorite Jenna Marbles clip or to attempt learning the latest dance craze, Youtube keeps track of who’s watching what and how often. They find trending videos and display them on their home page, dividing them into categories from sports, cooking and music. You can also use a hashtag in the description of your uploaded videos to make them more easily found by others.
Reddit is a website constantly being updated with anything from breaking news to goofy memes. The entire website is organized by up and down votes, likes and dislikes. Therefore, the top post has the most upvotes or is the highest trending post, followed by the next highest trending post and so on. This system allows trending topics to be easily available as well as become interactive.
At the end of the day, any website or social media platform is looking to find the most talked about topics and make them available to its users. Hashtag or not, when something big happens in the world or even just in your own town, social media platforms are the perfect place to get the details and join in on the movement.