Twitter launches Cardiff trending for first time

Screen grab of the Cardiff trends function on Twitter The Cardiff trends function went live on Twitter on Thursday

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For the first time users of Twitter in Cardiff can find out what is trending specifically in their city.

The social media site launched its trends tool on Thursday in the Welsh capital and 11 other UK cities.

It says regional trends "give users a great flavour of what's happening" in different parts of the UK.

Social media experts said it gave Cardiff people a greater chance to find out what is going on and to get themselves heard on Twitter.

Before Twitter expanded its city trends, trend searches in the UK were limited to the country as a whole, or to London, Birmingham, Glasgow and Manchester.

Listening tool

Analysis

With more than 10 million users in the UK, Twitter is an instant source of news, gossip and information.

But with so many users, and 400 million tweets sent every day, it can be difficult to keep track of what's relevant to you.

That's why trends are a useful tool. They reveal the most popular topics on Twitter, but until today, users in Wales could only keep track of what was trending among all of the social network's UK users.

Previously, you would have to rely on a third-party service such as Twitterfall.com to see what people were tweeting about in the Welsh capital, and that's still the only way of filtering the trends in other parts of Wales.

When the Cardiff trends were activated, there was little to differentiate the topics that were popular in the city compared to the UK as a whole.

The service will seem more relevant when big sports events, concerts or news stories are taking place in the capital, and Twitter users in Cardiff can easily keep track of what's happening in their city.

Now they can find what is trending particularly in Cardiff and the local area. The other UK cities now trending are Belfast, Brighton, Bristol, Edinburgh, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Newcastle, Nottingham, Portsmouth and Sheffield.

Emma Meese, social media and training manager at Cardiff University's journalism school, believes it will help put Cardiff more firmly on the map as a cosmopolitan city.

"It's great news," she said.

"Twitter is the world's most powerful listening tool. And for Cardiff to be part of that conversation it can only be a good thing for the city."

She said she hoped that Twitter would eventually include smaller Welsh places in its trends.

"But that won't be immediately because I think it would generate too much noise if all these places started trending."

Ms Meese explained that a trend happened when there was a Twitter peak around a particular word or collection of words, and tapping into the tool would be very useful for visitors to a town.

'Engaging in debate'

"It's really useful when you a visitor somewhere and you want to find out what's going on and what people locally are talking about."

Early trend topics for Cardiff on Thursday were more general, ranging from Christmas to Starbucks.

Internet marketing consultant Nigel T Packer said Cardiff trending would also help businesses or organisations promote an event.

"For the first time they will be competing against thousands, rather than millions, to get themselves heard.

"It's a function that will help people in the Cardiff area find out what is going on and also it's a good way of engaging in debate," he said.

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