By: Nick Gambino

Meta is testing a Trending Topics section in their Twitter/X competitor app, Threads. This feature will contain trending conversation topics collected into a central place by AI and a team of human curators. They’ll scrape the social media site to find what people are talking about the most and then push it out to other users who might want to join in.

“Rolling out a small test of today’s topics on Threads in the US,” Meta CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, said in a Thread post. “We’ll roll it out in more countries and languages once we get it tuned up.”

This list of trending topics will show up in the search section as well as users’ For You feed. This is very similar to the feature that’s been on Twitter/X for years, yet another sign that Threads is coming for their head. There’s no denying it’s a very helpful feature if you want to get a quick snapshot at what people are posting about across the digital landscape. I use it all the time to stay up on news through X.

AI involvement in the curation of these trending topics allows them to quickly determine not only how many users are talking about a specific subject, but how many are engaging with those posts, making for a better list. You can goose those numbers if it’s just a bunch of random accounts posting about a subject, but if there are a lot of people engaging in the comments section, then you have an organically trending topic.

What’s interesting is that ahead of the 2024 presidential election, Meta said Threads won’t be pushing political content on the platform. This new feature flies in the teeth of that promise. If Trending Topics works like they say, there’s no way it won’t list topics like Trump, Biden, the election and more. Those are going to be talked about ad nauseam in the coming months.

There will probably be a way to toggle political content on and off. I just don’t know how this will affect Trending Topics. Will these topics be curated specifically to the user’s interest? If this is a personalized feature section then it’s possible that we will be able to control what we see.