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How Do You Understand the Term Trending in Social Media?

After so many buildups in social media and TV discussions for years, I really wanted to know what is trending?

Trending means any topic currently popular or widely discussed online, especially on social media websites.

You can also add 'at particular' location to the above sentence.

Location can be a village, town, city, state, country or even the entire world.

For example, suppose a topic is discussed more on social media in a town at a particular time. The discussion is trending there.

It applies to city, state, country or world.

Usual trending topics are about politics, social issues of a particular location, movie release, actor birthdays, gossips etc.

Trending depends on the number of people or message over time and location. So it has to be a short burst over a shorter duration, not consistently built over months or years.

A word or phrase preceded by a hash sign (#), used on social media websites to identify digital content on a specific topic. So hashtag may play a role on social media to find out trending or exciting topics. 

Apart from that, each social media has its own algorithm to find out trends in its platform.

Coming to the topic of discussion,

Whether trending reflects really the people's opinion in a particular location?

From Statista, a market and consumer data provider, I got the number of Twitter users in some countries. And Google gave the population of those countries.

According to statistic, India has the third-highest Twitter users after the USA and Japan

The total population of India is approximately 1392 million, and the number of Twitter accounts are 17.5 million. Which is 1.25% of the total population.

From  statistics, Twitter has 353 million users worldwide.

The average number of daily active users is 192 million.

The percentage of daily active users is 54.3%

If we consider the same percentage of daily users in India, then daily users would be 9.50 million, which is 0.68% of the population

If you further analyze it, for about 29 states in India, the average daily users per state will be approximately 0.327 million (3.27 lakhs). (The actual number of users may vary as the population is not the same in all states)

Now, You can understand what percentage of people use Twitter in India. And the exciting question here is, how many of them have the same opinion on a particular matter?

The topics trending in social media are discussed on televisions and other media widely. It is imposed as if it is the opinion of an entire nation. But, it is not the fact. 

You can ask, opinion polls are, most of the time, very close to actual results in elections. 

You are right. The accuracy of the opinion poll for election depends on various factors such as gender, age, literacy, location, time of the survey, societal status, employment and other similar factors.

But Twitter is used mainly by people located in towns and cities. Also, not entire people in the city or town use this. Moreover, Twitter has more male users than female users.  A trending topic is the opinions of a tiny portion of the population. Not the view of the people of entire state or country.

Final thoughts

Trending in social media is a topic discussed by many users of a particular social media platform, not by all.

I leave it to you to explore further!


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