Facebook takes another cue from Twitter with Trending

Having a "Trending" feature is definitely more than a trend in social media land.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

Facebook and Twitter (among a few others) have been called out in the past for mimicking one another's features and interface aesthetics from time to time.

This time it is likely Facebook that is going to be subject to criticism for following this trend with the addition of Trending.

Announced on Thursday morning, Trending is exactly what any avid social networking user might expect it to be: an additional module putting the spotlight on the very most popular topics across the network at a given moment.

Facebook users might have noticed keywords, such as celebrity names or live television events, being highlighted on the News Feed lately. But Trending shifts the handful of hot topics to the top right hand corner of the stream now.

It's not quite the long-awaited and increasingly-anticipated arrival of the Flipboard-like service Paper, which is expected to drop at some point before the end of January.

Nevertheless, it's an important addition for Facebook as it battles Twitter, in particular, in the race to be the primary social space for sharing when news breaks. As demonstrated by some of Twitter's recent revenue-generating schemes lately, there's also more pressure for social networks to attract users during live TV events, ranging from sports to award shows and more.

However, it might be awhile before Facebook can actively compete with Twitter on this particular front.

Trending is rolling out gradually in select countries and via the web portal only for now.

Facebook said it is still testing Trending for mobile, which is likely going to be of more importance in the long run given that channel is now the social network's financial sweet spot (or crutch, depending on how you look at it).

Image via Facebook

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