When Twitter started, an unofficial trending tagging system started up. Known as “hash-tagging”, Twitter users could tag their tweets by using the hash symbol (#, also known as number sign or pound symbol). This was useful for following events like conferences (eg. #ces09) or for silly use, like a follow up thought (eg. #awesome). Sometime last year, trending (with or without hashtags) became an official feature of Twitter’s home page. Users could see the top ten words/hashtags/phrases being chatted about worldwide. Popular topics that came up over the past year include the Iranian election, the death of Michael Jackson and even new fads like #FollowFriday (suggestions of Twitter users to follow) and #MusicMonday (music suggestions).
This week, Twitter has taken it one step further. Now you can choose your trending topics by location.
Right now, there are only a handful of major cities and countries. But, as you can see, Twitter insists that they are working on it. Since the rollout of this feature took a couple days anyway, it’s not surprising that the locale choices will also increase over time.
Since I’m in Canada, I naturally chose the Canadian Twitter Trending Topics (say that ten times fast). Now, as you can see below, I have a new set of trending topics based on users who have identified themselves as being in Canada.
Here are some of my observations based on the topics from Canada and the topics trending worldwide:
- The Canadian list makes no mention of the State of the Union (SOTU)
- Canada may be a bit behind with yesterday’s big trending topics about the iPad – many related topics are trending today in CAnada, but no longer tops on the worldwide list (#iTampon, Apple iPad, MadTV)
- Both lists have Haiti as trending (but it looks like Canadians prefer their Haiti with a hashtag)
- Olympics is on the Canadian list – the Olympics are in Vancouver, BC, Canada
- #yeg is the airport code for the Edmonton International Airport but like many cities, they abbreviate their city name to the airport code. I guess people in Edmonton were really busy on Twitter today.
Since I took these screencaps earlier today, the trending topics have already changed. It’s a powerful feature to let you know what’s happening and what’s being most talked about. Now it’s even better with the ability for you to chose the location you want your information on. Watch for this feature to grow with more countries, regions and cities.