Facebook trials trending topics on Web

Like Twitter, the social network wants to link members to buzz-worthy memes and real-time news.

facebook trending web

Facebook will take on more of Twitter's likeness for a small group people as the social network has started testing a "trending" section in the right-hand column atop the homepage.

The trending box, first noted by the Wall Street Journal, features the hot topics that Facebook's 1.15 billion users are openly buzzing about, and are likely gleaned through mentions and the company's 2-month-old hashtag feature.

"We are running a small test of a unit on News Feed that displays topics currently trending on Facebook," a company spokesperson told CNET. "Right now it's only available to a small percentage of US users and it is still in the early stages of development."

The desktop test follows a similar mobile experiment with trending topics that kicked off earlier this month. Both trials are indicative of the social network's ambition to be linked to what's happening right now.

Twitter has long been perceived as the digital water cooler where people go to discuss pop culture or television shows, share memes, and follow celebrities. Facebook, with hashtags, embedded posts, and now trending topics, has made a string of maneuvers to make sure that the public -- and, more importantly, advertisers -- know that it too is relevant in the real-time news cycle.

Facebook will share more details about its trending topics feature if the company decides to roll it out more widely, the spokesperson said.

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