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very popular as a subject discussed on the microblogging service Twitter

Origin and usage

The adjective trending is related to the verb ‘trend’ and the noun ‘trend’ which means ‘a sense of general direction or course’. ‘Trend’ comes from the Proto-Germanic word ‘trandijan’ meaning ‘turn or revolve’. The use of the noun ‘trend’ to describe a new and popular fashion or cultural custom dates to the 1950s, and it wasn’t until the early 21st century that the word trending came to describe popular topics on the Twitter social media service.


Trending refers to topics and subjects that are currently ranked as the most popular on the microblogging platform Twitter. Even people who don’t use Twitter are generally familiar with the term trending, as news and entertainment outlets often mention trending Twitter topics and hashtags.

Trending originated on Twitter thanks to the use of hashtags – words or phrases preceded by the # symbol that are used to identify posts related to a specific subject. It is a way for users to quickly and easily search for the topics that interest them or to stay up-to-date on breaking news. Other social media, news and entertainment sites now include trending topics, and trend rankings are very common.

Trending subjects and hashtags are determined by a number of factors, including how many users are currently searching for or posting about a topic, how many times the hashtag or subject has been shared or reposted, and how many publishers are posting original content about the topic.

Each day, Twitter compiles lists of trending topics covering sitewide trends with additional trending lists available for individual cities, countries and regions worldwide.


Trending topics helped make Twitter a more relevant metric of what the world was talking about at any given moment.”
(Ben Parr)

View the full definition in the Macmillan Dictionary.

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