How to See What‘s Trending on Twitter: A Comprehensive 3-Step Guide

Twitter has become deeply ingrained into the cultural consciousness as the place to go to find out what topics are blowing up on the internet at any given moment.

The site‘s trending topics algorithm surfaces hashtagged discussions, news events, memes, and more that are seeing a rapid uptick in attention. Checking Twitter‘s trends has become a daily habit for millions looking to stay on pulse of "what‘s happening".

But the platform doesn‘t make it entirely obvious how users can access these trending topics. The process requires a bit of digging for the uninitiated.

Not to worry! In this detailed guide, we‘ll walk through how to view Twitter trends in just 3 simple steps. Let‘s get started.

Why Check Twitter‘s Trending Topics?

Before jumping into the how-to, it helps to understand why you may want to pay attention to Twitter‘s trends in the first place.

There are a few key reasons experts recommend keeping tabs on trending topics:

Be the First to Find Out Breaking News

Twitter has developed a reputation for breaking news stories faster than traditional media outlets. The instant, public nature of tweeting lends itself perfectly to disseminating information about major events as they unfold.

Whether it‘s a celebrity scandal, sociopolitical uprising, natural disaster, or other hot story, chances are it will start bubbling up on Twitter before making national headlines.

Following trends keeps savvy news consumers "in the know" about notable happenings near-instantly.

Gauge Public Opinion on Current Events

Beyond breaking news, Twitter also provides a real-time barometer for public opinion on the pressing topics of the day.

The viral spread of trending hashtags allows users to rapidly weigh in and react to the latest issue capturing attention.

Checking Twitter trends clues you into the biggest conversations and controversies. The sheer volume of discussion acts as an informal "poll" revealing mass sentiment.

Participate in Cultural Phenomena

Trending topics also commonly spring up around cultural events like:

  • Awards shows
  • Sports matches
  • New song/video releases
  • Season finales of popular TV shows
  • Video game launches
  • And more

Millions of viewers flock to Twitter to live-tweet commentary, jokes, reactions and hot takes as these pop culture moments unfold.

Jumping into the trending conversations makes for an enormously enjoyable, communal experience. It‘s like watching alongside friends, except those friends number in the hundreds of thousands!

Step-By-Step Guide to Viewing Twitter Trends

Now that you know why trending topics matter, let‘s get down to how you can actually access them.

I‘ll provide instructions for both desktop and mobile below. Follow along with the steps, illustrations, and pro tips.

On the Twitter Website:

Here‘s how to find trends on Twitter.com:

Step 1: Log Into Your Account

Log into Twitter account

First things first, you‘ll want to log into your Twitter account.

  • You can view trending topics while logged out, but won‘t be able to like, retweet or reply.
  • Logged-out visitors also miss out on personalized trend recommendations.

So take a minute to sign in for the full experience. Click your profile pic > Sign In if needed.

Step 2: Click "Explore" on the Left Sidebar

Click Explore link

With access to your account, you should see a left sidebar with links like Home, Explore, Notifications and more. Click the Explore link.

This tab surfaces popular and trending content beyond just who you follow.

Step 3: Scroll to View Trending Topics

View top trends

On desktop, Twitter automatically opens to the Trending panel when you enter Explore.

Here you‘ll find the current hottest topics according to your location and interests. Hashtags are displayed alongside a countdown showing how long a topic has been trending.

Click any trend to view related tweets and join the conversation!

On Mobile Devices:

Here‘s how to access trends on the Twitter app for iPhone, Android and other mobile platforms:

Step 1: Launch the Twitter App & Login

Just like on desktop, you‘ll first open the official Twitter app and login to your account. The app should prompt you to sign in if needed.

Step 2: Tap the Search Icon

Tap search icon

At the bottom toolbar, tap the magnifying glass search icon. This is NOT the main Home tab. The search icon takes you to Explore.

Step 3: Browse Trending Topics

App trends

You‘ll now see featured trends just like the web interface. Continue tapping hashtags and keywords to view tweets and contribute your thoughts!

Twitter Trend FAQs

New to Twitter‘s trending module? No worries! Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

How Does Twitter Determine Trends?

Trending topics are identified algorithmically based on breakout hashtags and keywords. If a term sees a sudden surge in volume and engagement, Twitter‘s software will promote it as a trend.

Location and who you follow also play a role in surface personalized trending topics.

Can Anyone Make Something Trend?

Not quite. While influencers carry some power to boost trends, truly viral topics require a groundswell of organic excitement.

If a hashtag sees usage from a critical mass of accounts—especially those with large followings—it can definitely pick up steam. But buying fake trends won‘t work.

Does Twitter Censor Sensitive Trends?

In some cases, yes. The site introduced policies allowing them to annotate troublesome trends with warnings if they promote hate, criminal behavior or dangerous misinformation.

Outright banning tends to be rare, but Twitter has proven they‘ll step in for the most extreme cases violating their rules.

What are the Most Popular Trends Of All Time?

As per recent analysis from Oxford-owned Lexico, the Top 5 Twitter hashtags historically are:

So positivity and aspirational topics have dominated thus far!

In Summary…

I hope this guide gave you a crash course on accessing Twitter‘s buzzy trend module with ease.

Staying tapped into the trends ensures you never miss crucial news and conversations. It pays to check in daily as Twitter continues cementing its status as the internet‘s sounding board!

Let me know if you have any other questions. I‘m happy to offer tips so you can use Twitter like a pro.

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