Social media best practices

What Twitter’s trending news experiment means for news sites

In an effort to compete more with Facebook and reign in more casual product users, Twitter is testing a trending news tab in iOs and Android apps.

The tab, which is already live in Japan, is being rolled out to select U.S. users on the app, Twitter said in a statement to Buzzfeed.

The tab displays headlines of stories trending across Twitter, along with the number of tweets associated with that headline. The concept is similar to the way trending topics appears on Facebook.

The trending news tab follows a similar pattern from other social networks looking to surface popular content on breaking news. Last month, Instagram beefed up the features in the search tab to show trending hashtags and also topics to explore. Snapchat’s live global stories already draw more an average of 20 million users in a 24-hour window, according to Re/Code.

The expansion of surfacing trending content in social media tools is only good news for media organizations, as this allows their viral stories to be discovered more easily.

These tools also allow the casual user to explore content outside of their network of followers.

The trending news in Twitter is also tied to the company’s Project Lightning project, which is aimed to surface more content in breaking news situations to users.

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