Trending Topics

Welcome to Trending Topics! This site uses Wikipedia traffic data to surface topics that are trending, or have been trending recently. You can find out what's trending right now by clicking the "hour" tab, and you can also surface longer-term trends by using the other tabs (day, week, month, etc.). Use the "recent edits" button and the "recent links" list to find out why a particular topic is trending. You can also click the traffic graph to get a more detailed view of the traffic data.

Here's some examples of how you'd use the different time-scale tabs:

My hope is that this tool will be useful for all sorts of people with all sorts of needs, but here are a few ways that you could use this tool:

Part of the reason why I built this tool was because existing tools don't tell you why a certain topic is trending. Instead, they just give you a list of trending topics, and you have to hunt down the cause of that trend by searching through news websites, or social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or YouTube.

So you'll notice two features of this site that will help you find out why a particular topic is trending:

  1. For each topic that is trending, the engine behind this site tries to hunt down a list of news articles and other content that are related to the topic. The results of that hunt are presented as a list of "Recent Links" under each trending topic.
  2. Under the "Traffic" graph, there's a button that shows you the most recent edits to the wikipedia page for that particular topic. If you click that button you'll be shown a list of recent "diffs", starting with the most recent diff. On the left side you'll see the previous version, and on the right you'll see the newer version.

So these two features should give you a head-start in hunting down the reason why a particular topic is currently trending. There's still a lot of work to do to make this easier for you, the reader, and so if you've got any ideas, please send them to me here.

I initially only designed the tool to be able to surface daily, weekly and monthly trends, but after playing around with "yearly" trends, I decided that it was going to be included in this first version of the tool. The long-term trends are particularly interesting because if you dig into this data (beyond the TV series' and that sort of stuff) you can uncover broad shifts in society, rather than just "hot this week" type trends.

At the moment, this tool only provides trending topics globally, and only using English Wikipedia articles. If there's enough demand, I'll definitely consider adding trends for specific countries like India - you can send me feedback here.

There are already lots of websites where you can find trending topics for YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the like - and many of these social media platforms have their own pages that list their trending content. So with this website I decided to leave out hashtag trends, or trends that are specific to a particular social media platform.

Since this website is new, I haven't yet added the ability to narrow down trends to specific categories like technology, social media, politics, etc. If you'd like me to add this functionality, please leave me some feedback here. The features that get added next will be based on the most-requested items in that list.

This tool probably isn't going to be perfect for everyone, so if this isn't quite what you're looking for, then you might like to try some of these things:

So if Trending Topics isn't giving you the trends that you were looking for, hopefully that list will help you on your journey.

How did you make this site?

This website is build upon the awesome (and free!) Wikimedia/Wikipedia APIs. For example, to get the image and text summary for each topic, I used a link like this:

And to get the pageviews data (for the traffic charts) for each topic, I used a link like this:

This traffic data is used to determine whether or not a topic is currently trending. You can find out more about these APIs here.

Hourly Wikipedia pageviews are also available, but not via an API. Instead, you need to parse the dump files.

Are there ways that Trending Topics could be improved? Please leave feedback here! Please note that this is a free tool, so I may not be able to add the features that you request immediately, but I'll definitely do my best!