Meta’s Threads app is rolling out a new “Trending Now” feature to all U.S. users that provides real-time insight into the most popular topics being discussed. This launch follows a 5-week test with a small subset of users and will be rolled out in more countries and languages soon.

Mark Zuckerberg quickly made the announcement via his Threads account. Joining him in an announcement of their own was the official Threads account and Instagram boss Adam Mosseri.

Source: Threads

The “Trending Now” feature leverages artificial intelligence (AI) to determine the most popular topics based on what users are actively talking about. You’ll find these trends both integrated into your For You feed and on the dedicated Threads search page.

Currently, Threads is limiting the display to five trending topics at a time, likely to maintain a focused list and avoid some of the pitfalls that have affected similar features on other platforms. According to reporting by Engadget, Meta has also stated in the past that in order to maintain a safe environment on Threads, the company will use “content specialists” to ensure trending topics comply with their safety guidelines.

The addition of trends is a significant step for Threads. Previously, users mainly discovered content through their own personal feeds or through the recently introduced “Tags” feature. The “Trending Now” feature helps break out of that bubble by offering ways to connect with others around broader topics.

It also opens a window for users interested in keeping up with news and current events within the platform, even though Meta has expressed a preference to minimize overt news content on Threads. This decision, though, has been met with mixed reactions from both users and industry experts.

Many consider the inclusion of breaking news a significant feature to have on an app that intends to compete with the likes of X (formerly Twitter) and other social media platforms. It remains to be seen if the introduction of trending topics and their use will shift the platform’s focus towards news coverage.

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