Facebook will now display trending topics alongside the News Feed, using a new product the company simply calls "trending." Trending will show a personalized list of popular topics for each user, combining their interests with content getting the most attention across the entire platform, Facebook announced today. Each trend will include a short description, and users can click on the trend to see a list of posts and articles related to that topic.
Facebook will determine which topics are trending with an algorithm intended to recognize "a sharp increase in popularity," not necessarily a large volume of posts or articles about a particular subject, according to a spokesperson. In other words, subjects that are always popular on Facebook won't always be trending; this will only happen when that subject experiences a spike in mentions. At least for now, trending posts will not include sponsored or promoted content, although there seems to be ample opportunity for doing so in the future.