What Does “Trending” Mean?
Trending was a term unheard of until Social Networks that we know today were invented in the early 2000s. Before this, a few recognisable trends we had were perms, jelly sandals, and double denim. Nowadays, the term means which topics are being discussed or watched the most online. They often arise as a result of a major event, such as the death of a major public figure or even a celebrity’s new haircut.
Today, trending topics are highlighted, serving as a basis for conversation. Trending topics can be found on most, if not all, Social Media platforms. For example, Twitter has a page dedicated to the most trending topics at that time. Another example is Youtube, which has a trending tab in the sidebar, with the most watched videos in the world. Both Facebook and Pinterest promote popular news articles and images.
You can find trending videos topics under ‘Trending’ on Youtube and ‘Explore’ on Twitter:
What Are Hashtags?
Before trends, if you were to see the symbol ‘#’, maybe you would think it has something to do with music or numbers. Hashtags are actually a major component of a trend. They are used as a way to help Social Media users highlight a keyword, acronym, or phrase. Once the tweet, picture, or status has been posted, a list is compiled with all of the posts that contain this hashtag.
An example of using a hashtag on Instagram is if someone Instagrammed or tweeted a picture or a post with the hashtag #ItsSnowing or #Snow, you could click on the hashtag and view a multitude of other posts with the same type of content: snow. You can even follow hashtags on Instagram so post with them included come up on your timeline.
Although too many hashtags can become #overkill, they can be used as a powerful tool. They can make content easier to find. For example, a business or an influencer could encourage their customers or fans to use a hashtag promoting their products. It also enables you to keep an eye on what people are saying about your brand and also what competitors are doing.
Trending is when a topic or event is being frequently mentioned on a Social Media platform, and these go hand in hand with hashtags: hashtags give trends more reach and make posts more discoverable.