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How To See What’s Trending on Twitter: A Beginner’s Handbook

Dee

September 1, 2023 | 11 min read

No platform comes close to X, formerly Twitter, when you want daily updates from brands, industry experts, thought leaders, friends or celebrities. Short-form content makes consuming and sharing tweets (now posts) about current news and events easy. In fact, 69% of Twitter users in the United States use the platform for their daily dose of news. This isn’t surprising as most U.S. journalists use this social media network for work. However, when you open Twitter, you only see posts from people you follow and random users. How to see what’s trending on Twitter aka X?

It is a helpful skill to learn as you’ll know about the latest developments in any niche, irrespective of your location. Also, you can use trends to join conversations, increase your reach and grow your follower count. This guide has step-by-step instructions on how to see local and worldwide trends on the platform. It also explains how trends start on X, formerly Twitter. 

An individual looking at what’s trending on Twitter in the Explore section of the app.

An individual looking at what’s trending on Twitter in the Explore section of the app.

How To See What’s Trending on Twitter for the Web?

If you use Twitter (now X) for the web, the platform makes it easy to find trends. There are two ways to see what everyone is talking about on this social media network. Follow the instructions in this guide on how to see what’s trending on Twitter for the web.

Method 1

  1. You need to log in to your Twitter account to view trends. 
  2. After you enter your login credentials, the website will take you to your home timeline. 
  3. You’ll see a large card with What’s Happening as the title on the right side. This is how to see what’s trending on Twitter. Below this card, there’s a button with the text Show More. Click it, and the social media network will take you to the latest trends. On the new page, go to the Trending tab to see the hottest hashtags and phrases on the platform.

Method 2

  1. You need to go to Twitter’s Explore page. There’s a quick navigation menu with a shortcut to this page. On the left side, look for an icon resembling a magnifying glass. Click it to open the Explore page.
  2. By default, Twitter takes you to the For You tab. In this section, you’ll see what’s trending on the platform and the topics you follow. You can go to the next section, which is Trending. Under this tab, Twitter shows you the top 30 trending topics. It is a mixture of hashtags and phrases.

You can also go to other tabs like entertainment, news and sports. Depending on what you select, you’ll see relevant trending content.

A screenshot of what’s trending on Twitter for the web in Montreal.

How To See What’s Trending on Twitter Mobile?

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You can still see trends if you use the official X, formerly Twitter app. Unlike Twitter for the web, there’s only one way to see what’s on everyone’s minds. This is how to see what’s trending on Twitter mobile:

  1. Download and open the official X aka Twitter mobile app. 
  2. When you open it for the first time, it will ask you to sign in to your account. It’s not necessary to log in to your profile. You can skip this step, but you won’t be able to interact with the posts. This means you can’t post a reply, retweet the tweet, like the post or follow the author. However, you can still share the tweet.
  3. The app opens your feed if you log in to your Twitter account. At the bottom, there’s a navigation bar with several icons. Tap the magnifying icon to open the Explore page.
  4. You can look for trends under the For You section. Or, swipe right to open Trending, which is the next tab.

You can follow the above instructions on X or Twitter for Android and iOS.

An individual downloading Twitter on their iPad to see what’s trending on the app.

How To See What’s Trending on Twitter Near Your Area?

If you want to know what’s happening around your locality, you only need to check X, formerly Twitter. For instance, there’s a concert happening close by. With X aka Twitter, you’ll know which roads have a traffic jam, thanks to constant updates from other users. This guide breaks down how to see what’s trending on Twitter near your area.

  1. Go to Twitter’s Explore page, which shows the latest trends. Follow the instructions from the above sections depending on your device.
  2. On the Explore page, there’s a search bar on top of your screen. Next to it, there’s an icon that looks like a gear. Select it to open the settings page for Twitter trends
  3. You’ll find this option – Show Content In This Location. Enable this setting to see trends near your area.

The platform will ask you for permission to access your location. Share your location, and you’re good to go. If you’re still not seeing trends near your area, reload the Explore page and try again. Twitter’s search function can give you more information about popular topics. For example, advanced search will help you find tweets with the highest levels of engagement.

You can go one step further to personalize the trends.

  1. Open the Settings and Support menu. Twitter for web users can find this option under More in the quick navigation bar. Android and iOS users should swipe right to open the quick navigation menu. It is the last option in this menu.
  2. You need to click on Settings and Privacy and open Privacy and Safety.
  3. Under Data Sharing and Personalization, there’s Location Information. Open its settings page.
  4. Enable this feature – Personalize Based On Places You’ve Been.

If you’re a frequent traveler, this is a helpful feature. You’ll see trends from the locations you visit.

How To See What’s Trending on Twitter Worldwide?

The above guides show you what’s happening in your location. You’ll also see trends for your country. What if you want to use X, formerly Twitter, to get the latest news worldwide? The platform allows you to tweak your experience as per your preferences. Here’s how to see what’s trending on Twitter worldwide:

  1. On Twitter’s Explore page, you need to select the gear-shaped icon. You can see this button on Twitter for Android, iOS and the web. 
  2. On this settings page, deselect Show Content In This Location.

You’ll no longer see trends in the region you live. Instead, the platform will show what’s popular globally. Refresh the Explore page if you still see what’s trending near you.

If this method doesn’t work or you find the results unsatisfactory, there’s one more solution. You can use third-party services like Trends24 and RiteTag. They allow you to see what’s trending worldwide.

Alternatively, you can use hashtag trackers like TrackMyHashtag, Tweet Binder and Hashtagify. You’ll need to know what hashtags to track to find trends. The benefit of these tools is they break down the trending hashtags. You’ll know its popularity and who’s using these hashtags in different regions.

An individual seeing what’s trending on Twitter in South Africa

How To See What’s Trending on Twitter in Other Countries?

What if you don’t want to see worldwide trends on Twitter? For example, you saw something in the news about a specific country. You want to see the ground reality from users in that region. X, formerly Twitter, has a setting where you can change the trends to other nations regardless of location. This guide shows you how to see what’s trending on Twitter in other countries:

  1. You need to open the settings page. If you’re on X or Twitter for the web, click More from the quick navigation bar. It’s on the left side of your screen. X or Twitter for Android and iOS users can access this menu with a right swipe across the screen.
  2. Out of all the settings options, click Settings and Support
  3. You’ll see a drop-down menu. Select Settings and Privacy.
  4. You need to open the Privacy and Safety section.
  5. Look for Content You See and open its settings page.
  6. Click Explore Settings. A popup will appear on your screen if you use Twitter for the web. Otherwise, it will take you to another settings page.
  7. Deactivate the personalization feature – Show Content In This Location.
  8. When you deactivate this feature, a new menu option, Explore Locations, appears.
  9. Select Explore Locations and search for the country.

Go back to the Explore page and look at the trends. You’ll see what’s popular in the country depending on your selection.

How To Join a Trend on Twitter, Now X?

After following how to see what’s trending on Twitter, you want to know how to join the discussion. It’s simple; you must use the same hashtags or phrases as the popular tweets. However, there are a few tips to remember to help you make the most of the topic trends:

  • Always understand the context of the trend before jumping in. When you go through the trending page, you’ll only see hashtags or phrases. Dig deeper to understand why it appears on the trends page on X, formerly Twitter. This way, you’ll understand what people are talking about and how they feel about the topic.
  • Get Twitter Blue if you want more people to see your tweets. One benefit of this subscription program is it gives you priority. When you reply to posts, it’s more likely to appear at the top. However, other factors also influence the ranking of your replies.
  • Enrich your tweets with media, like GIFs, photos and videos. Adding these types of content makes your posts visually appealing. As a result, users are more likely to look at your tweets and engage with them.
  • Adding to the conversation is a good practice. It’s okay if you have nothing to say about a specific trend. When you find one relevant to your niche, jump on it immediately. If someone else is already covering what you have in mind, retweet the tweet. Remember, never try to join trends just because it’s popular. 
A person looking at trending posts on Twitter to see which ones he can join.

How Does X, Formerly Twitter, Select What’s Trending?

Now that you know how to see what’s trending on Twitter, the next question is, how does it do this? Several factors determine what appears on the trending page. For starters, the algorithm does all the heavy lifting for the platform. 

It considers your current location, interests and the people you follow to determine what potential trends to show. But it doesn’t stop here. It focuses on popular topics instead of favoring older trends. In other words, it prefers new content to old ones, so conversations are always fresh.

How does it categorize the tweets and discussions, especially when there are millions of daily posts? The platform harnesses the power of hashtags to categorize conversations, which are helpful to users and the algorithm.

The platform groups similar hashtags under a single topic. For example, #thursdaythrowback and #throwbackthursday are the same.

Again, only some things will trend on the platform. As hundreds of millions use the platform, X aka Twitter wants to ensure it is safe for everyone. This is why the social media network controls what appears under trending.

The platform won’t allow tweets breaking its rules to trend. Posts containing sensitive content, like adult or graphic content, are ineligible. Any trend focusing on crime victims won’t trend on the platform. Posts that target the privacy of minors are also against the platform’s rules.As highlighted earlier, your posts won’t trend if you break Twitter’s policies. What if there are hundreds of tweets in your account with sensitive content? With TweetEraser, you can delete these tweets simultaneously. In fact, it can stop you from publishing such posts when you enable the auto-delete feature. Ensure your tweets show up on the trending page by using TweetEraser today!

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