Twitter’s Tailored Trends presents both opportunities and limitations

Last week, I heard the news that Twitter would be rolling out Tailored Trends. Within a 30 seconds, I experienced reactions including: thrilled, angry, mortified, and apathetic.

Twitter - Tailored Trends

Have you seen this notification on Twitter yet?

Twitter’s blog post on the subject claims that the change is meant to, “bring you closer.” But is that really the point of trending topics? I’m not so sure.

First, we’ll start with negativity. I’m unhappy about this Twitter update because trending topics often alert me to things that I wouldn’t have otherwise been aware of. Living a busy life, it’s easy to forget about the Euro 2012 tournament, or the Supreme Court’s decision on Obama’s healthcare initiative. Regularly, I am educated, or at least presented with information on a topic that I wouldn’t have otherwise gotten without checking the trends.

On the other hand, I also regularly find myself asking, “how on earth did this become trending, worldwide?”

I’m sure you’ve noticed these before – the racist, sexist, completely inappropriate and offensive topics that pick up speed on the social network. Soon, half of the tweets are joining in the fun, and the other half are tweeting questions about the validity and reason for the trend.

These trends that have, in my opinion, no purpose whatsoever, could definitely be removed.

Localized trends present an interesting opportunity as well. In fact, I’ve always thought that it would be great to see a list of things that are happening right in the Rochester, NY area at any given moment. After all, those are things that I am more likely to be a part of and engage with, due to my close proximity.

It’s important to note that Twitter has not made a complete shift from worldwide to local trends. In fact, users of the site will still be able to see global trends by simply turning off their location settings.

Personally, I think I would prefer to have both worldwide and global trends displayed at all times. In other words, the website could display, “What’s happening right now?” followed by, “What’s happening around you right now?”

Why choose?


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