5 Big Ways to Track Viral Trends Online

Use These Strategies to Find the Most Popular Content on the Web

So you want to know what the latest viral trends on the web are and where they're happening? Well, look no further. We’ve got a list of suggestions for how to use the best websites and social networks out there that pick up on the latest trends.

Whether it’s a new internet meme, celebrity gossip, breaking news or a video that got a million views overnight, you can probably get the juiciest and most up to date information on it by checking out the following sites. Here's how to do just that.

1
Subscribe to trendy blogs, news sites and social profiles.

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Quite unsurprisingly, the easiest way to stay on top of viral trends is to completely immerse yourself in the social web. For starters, you can use a free news reader service like Digg Reader to subscribe to the RSS feeds of your favorite blogs and news sites that are regularly updated to report breaking stories as soon as possible.

Check out these 10 blogs that you can subscribe to for updates on popular viral trends.

Besides blogs and news sites, you can also check out their corresponding social profiles to see their updates pop up in your feeds whenever you're browsing them. You can also follow individual reporters, bloggers, celebrities and other individuals who regularly share viral content on social media.

2
Check out the 'trending' sections on social networks.

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Speaking of following brands and individuals who post newsworthy stuff on social media, you can discover a lot on your own just by paying attention to trending sections on social media. Facebook has this section in the home feed on the web while Twitter has a trending section that appears on the left side on the web and on the search page on mobile.

Check out these 10 popular social media posting trends.

As far as other social networks go, you can check out the trending section on YouTube, the trending section on Tumblr, the search/popular page on Instagram and your Stories page on Snapchat. These are all designed to show you the latest, most popular content based on what's currently being shared and what your interests are.

3
Use social news sites.

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Examples of social news sites include Reddit, Hacker News and Product Hunt. These are sites that display community-driven news stories, which have been submitted and voted up or down by the people who use the site.

Check out these 7 very different ways to get the news online.

Getting active on social news sites can give you the upper hand on discovering viral content when it's super new and fresh. Blogs and news sites are often fast to report something big, but if you absolutely need to be first, you'll probably hear about a big story on a social news site like Reddit quicker than anywhere else.

4
Set up notifications for specific keywords.

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No time to be reading blogs or looking at your social feeds all the time? No problem! There are a few different ways you can effectively set up notifications via text message, email, social media or some other medium.

Check out these 10 awesome IFTTT recipes for automating tedious online tasks.

One of the easiest and most common ways to be alerted of certain topics is to set up Google Alerts, which allows you to create an RSS feed for your preferred news reader or to receive email notifications with a collection of current stories. Another popular way to set up notifications on various platforms (like SMS text and social media) is IFTTT. Here's how to use IFTTT.

5
Use a premium news tracking service if you're super serious.

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Last but not least, if none of the above viral trend tracking strategies are enough for you and maybe you're a viral news reporter or blogger who needs an even faster and more complete solution, you can go ahead and sign up with a premium service. NewsWhip is one example, which allows you to discover trends and news stories before they've even broken out online so you can analyze and monitor them as they unfold.

If celebrity gossip is your thing, check out these sites that stay on top of everything going on in Hollywood and beyond.

Bear in mind that tools like NewsWhip don't come cheap and require a monthly fee to use. These are great solutions for people who do this professionally and are the ones who are quite literally breaking the stories on the news sites they work for or the blogs they contribute to online — where everybody else goes to get their news!

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