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Facebook experimenting with Twitter-like trending topics

Facebook, it seems, is getting more like Twitter every day. If the company isn’t adding enabling hashtags on status updates, its adding video to Instagram to nullify Vine.

However, today’s development is the surest sign yet that Facebook is aiming to ensure none of Twitter’s most ‘trendy’ features can exist without a Facebook equivalent.

The company has confirmed it has started to test trending topics on a small percentage of its mobile web users in the United States. Those users on the m.facebook.com site will be seeing the trends within their News Feeds. Clicking on the topic will open it in a new, scrollable page featuring stories, photos, status updates and more, while prioritising any comments from the user’s own friends list.

A list of other trends will also be displayed, with Facebook’s current examples being Shark Week (the Discovery Channel’s Sharkathon), Jeff Bezos (the Amazon owner who just bought the Washington Post), Vince Young (an under performing NFL quarterback who has signed signed as back up for the Green Bay Packers) and Alex “A-Rod” Rodriguez, (shamed as part of a baseball drug scandal and banned for 211 games subject to appeal).

Following a report from AllThingsD, Facebook said in a statement: “Today we started running a small test that displays topics trending on Facebook. It is currently only available to a small percentage of U.S. users who use Facebook’s mobile web site (m.facebook.com) and is still in very early stages of development. We will share more details down the line if we decide to roll it out more widely.”

Hopefully, when Facebook rolls out this feature across the site it’ll continue to base trends on newsworthy events being discussed within the community rather than the asinine nonsense users are currently subjected to within the trends section on Twitter. Facebook, you have an opportunity to make this better. Do it and perhaps folks won’t be so hard on you for continually jacking Twitter’s signature features.

Meanwhile, in other news, Facebook today confirmed its Graph Search indexing feature has now rolled out to all members using US English. The feature allows users to find people with similar interests, revisit photos they’ve liked, find recommendations and look for movies and music liked by their friends.

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