In Internet terms, trending refers to a specific topic, hashtag, video, photo or catch-phrase that has become popular on a social media platform, like Instagram, TikTok or Twitter. When a trending item becomes popular, it means that the content is getting more impressions, interactions and mentions on that particular platform at a given time. In general, trends mirror the current discussions and interests of a platform’s community.

Trends can come from a variety of sources, including current news events and topics, viral content, holidays or even online campaigns and challenges. In terms of digital marketing, trending is an essential tool to understand and use. The popularity of a specific topic, hashtag or video can impact a brand’s online visibility and engagement significantly. Trends can also be a useful tool to predict what the public is talking about or searching for at a certain time.

While some people might argue that the word ‘trending’ is an incorrect term for what happens on a social media platform, most would agree that a trend is a group of conversations that are gaining traction at a particular point in time. It is this ‘group of conversations’ that is highlighted in the ‘trending’ tab on the various platforms. The popularity of a trend is often driven by current events, pop culture, celebrity and entertainment and can sometimes be dictated by economic or political factors as well.

The most common way to see what’s trending on a particular platform is through that platform’s ‘Explore’ or ‘Trending’ section. This is where the most popular topics are featured, and it’s a good idea to monitor these sections regularly. You can do this by heading to the Explore or Trending page on a particular social media platform and selecting the category you’d like to view. The results will then show you the most popular trends that have emerged in that category.

Aside from being a great source of information, trends are also an excellent tool to help you develop your digital marketing strategy. By identifying the topics that are popular in your audience, you can create content around them and get it in front of more potential customers. This is a great way to boost your reach and drive traffic to your website or other online properties.

YouTube’s Trending videos are largely determined by the platform’s algorithm, which takes into account a number of factors, including view counts and viewing velocity. The algorithm also considers the location and gender of users as well as their search histories on YouTube.

YouTube’s ‘Trending’ section is also somewhat of an anomaly in that it prioritizes channels with more views over those with less. For example, culinary channel Bon Appetit’s video “How to Make the Best Cheesecake” has a higher chance of appearing in the Trending videos than a video by ESPN about sports news. To counteract this, it is important to optimize your YouTube videos for search. You can do this by incorporating relevant keywords and using a tools like Ahrefs to analyze keyword volume, position and more.