A trend is the general direction something changes, develops or veers toward. It can also refer to a fashion, fad or craze. Twitter invented the word ‘trending’ to describe popular topics that are being discussed across its service. Being part of a trend is a big deal; it can mean free publicity for your brand, product or creative work.

People who use Twitter often see the word ‘trending’ on the site, usually in the sidebar or at the top of the page. The trends are compiled each day by Twitter’s algorithm to show users what’s currently being talked about on the microblogging platform. Twitter users can change the trending topics that they see by visiting their settings. Twitter also creates lists of trending topics for specific cities, countries and regions worldwide.

Facebook and Google offer similar trending features, though they aren’t as widely used as Twitter’s. On Google, trends are based on the percentage of keyword or topic searches that appear in search results over time and location. Trends are adjusted daily to ensure that users see the most relevant and current results for their search terms. Twitter’s trends are tailored to each user, which means that a person in Mauritius or Bangladesh might not be so passionate about Kim Kardashian’s latest outfit as someone in the US. Twitter also allows users to select a different country or city to view the trending topics that are more pertinent to them.

YouTube also has a trending feature that displays the top videos on its website in real-time. To get on the list, a video must have a high number of views and be related to a current trend. This is a huge incentive for creators to produce content that aligns with popular interests and can cause a video to spike up the list. Getting on the trending list can be a good indicator of what is popular with viewers and can help influence the decisions made by advertisers.

It’s possible to manipulate trending topics by creating an artificial hashtag. Using a unique hashtag that has no built-up history is easier to do than using one with an existing hashtag because it won’t be competing with other trends. You can also try to hit a trend at just the right moment, such as a major news event or television program.

Trending can be a great way for businesses to keep an eye on what’s going on in their industry and adapt their own marketing strategies accordingly. Retailers can watch trending topics in their niche to gain exposure on social media, for example, while tech companies can monitor trends to stay on top of the latest innovations.

YouTube’s trending page can be a powerful tool for video creators, but it can also be frustrating as the list is determined in real-time. This means that even if a video is trending, it can fall off the list if other recent videos do not earn enough views and engagement. This is why it’s important to produce trend-worthy content regularly.