Threads rolls out Trending Topics to all users in the US

Threads launches Trending Topics, displaying trending content in a ranked list in search and "Trending Now" module in For You feed. This reflects a shift towards user engagement and away from past moderation controversies.

Threads rolls out Trending Topics to all users in the US
Image: Webpromo

Threads, the social media platform from Meta, has officially launched its Trending Topics feature for all users in the United States.

The Trending Topics display appears in two locations: a ranked list within the Search section and a "Trending Now" module highlighted in the main "For You" feed. While this functionality is similar to what Meta has been testing, there are some noteworthy design tweaks.

Previously called "Today's Topics" in the search tab, the section has been renamed "Trending Now" to more accurately reflect the content displayed. This change aligns with the platform's goal of providing users with a clearer view of what's currently generating the most engagement.

Threads Trending Topics
Image: SocialMediaToday

Meta has a history of complexity with trending topics. Concerns regarding manual manipulation of trending content led to the removal of the "Trending" section on Facebook in 2018. This shift towards algorithmic curation resulted in unintended consequences, prompting the platform to abandon the concept entirely.

Threads' cautious approach to trending topics likely stems from this history. The launch coincides with an update that reduces political content recommendations, aiming to limit exposure for users who prefer a less divisive online experience.

With the reduced emphasis on political content, Meta might be more confident that the trending list can now offer a more accurate reflection of user engagement. However, some level of control over displayed content is still expected to prevent the amplification of inflammatory trends.

This focus on a positive user experience differentiates Threads from its competitors. By minimizing political content, which user feedback has consistently identified as a point of negativity, Threads aims to carve out a unique space in the social media landscape.

The ability to engage with real-time trends remains crucial, and Threads recognizes this by implementing trending topics. It will be interesting to observe how Meta curates the displayed content and whether the platform actively avoids promoting specific topics to prevent emotionally charged discussions. The effectiveness of this feature may hinge on this approach.