Facebook Is Copying Twitter ... Again

NEW YORK (TheStreet)-- If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Facebook ( FB) and Twitter ( TWTR) ought to be the best of friends by now.

Facebook has launched a new feature known as "Trending," which shows news items, topics and hashtags that are trending on the world's largest social network. This is extremely similar to what Twitter does with its trending topics or hashtags, located on the lower left hand side of its homepage.

"Today we're announcing Trending, a new product that's designed to surface interesting and relevant conversations in order to help you discover the best content from all across Facebook," Facebook wrote in a post that announced the new product.

Trending is not yet available to everyone, and will slowly roll out over the coming weeks.

Shares of Facebook were up 0.25% to $57.74; shares of Twitter were up 1.2% to $62.29.

Menlo Park, Calif.-based Facebook noted Trending comes from "stories from people and Pages who've shared them with you or have shared them as Public."

This isn't the first time that Facebook has borrowed a feature from Twitter. Facebook recent unveiled hashtags, which Twitter made famous, allowing users to post a status update with a hashtag to make them more easily searchable.

Twitter allows advertisers to buy promoted trends, putting them at the top of trending topics so that advertisers can try to generate a better return on investment.

The hashtags are also part of Facebook's Graph Search product, which CEO Mark Zuckerberg called the "third pillar" to Facebook in a January 2013 press conference. 

The two social networks have been going back and forth in recent months, adding features that are very similar to one another in the battle for eyeballs, and thus, advertising revenue.

Facebook is set to to report fourth-quarter earnings later this month, with Twitter reporting its first quarterly results Feb. 5.

-- Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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