Twitter starts adding headlines and descriptions to its Trending section

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September 9, 2020
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Let’s be honest: Twitter’s real-time Trending section isn’t always obvious. Sure, some trends like #BlackLivesMatter are very self-explanatory. But there are always some trends that aren’t well-known, and thus require a bit more context. This is the problem that Twitter wants to solve, and this is why it’s gradually including headlines, news articles, and summarized descriptions to its trends.

In an announcement last week, the microblogging platform said that it would begin pinning a representative tweet to the trend’s page that will give far more insight into the trending topic in question. Along with the recent inclusion of headlines and descriptions, Twitter users will hopefully have a better idea of why something is trending and showing up on the Explore tab.

These features will allow Twitter users to have a proper newsreader experience, because they won’t have to try to make sense of obscure trends anymore. Instead, they will be able to understand the context and get further information about it from the associated articles and summaries.

Despite these updates, there are still some trends that Twitter is unable to annotate properly. Sometimes, it lets the news headline do the job of explaining what the trend is about. Other times, there is a link to a news article for greater context and comprehension. The screenshot below gives a good idea of what to expect from Twitter in the coming days.

While announcing the updates last week, Twitter explained that the trend descriptions written by its curation team were aimed at being as straightforward and clear as possible. It’s still not clear how Twitter chooses which trends to describe or not, however.

Moreover, it appears that Twitter will essentially control which trends get more context and clarification. For instance, only those trends that Twitter deems confusing might get pinned tweets or descriptions.

If a trend is particularly confusing and a lot of people are talking about it, it may get a pinned Tweet or a description,” said a Twitter spokesperson.

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