Twitter has become the go-to place to learn what is trending, an important consideration for any business. If you want to stay ahead of the competition, you need to know what people are thinking and talking about. Find out more about trending topics at trending topics. Here are seven Twitter tools to help users interested in tracking trends that interest them.

ReTweetist provides a list of recent retweets. This tool operates on the premise that trends can be determined by gauging the number of retweets a tweet receives. This is said to give a reliable indication of how popular Tweeters, and their tweets, really are. This application also indicates which terms are the most popular in on social media sites.

Retweet Radar sifts through the rivers of information streaming from Twitter and provides lists of the most popular people, links, and trending topics. The website has archives of previous trends, so you can look back to see what has been trending recently and what was a flash in the pan. You can follow @retweetradar to get hourly updates on the hottest trends.

Twitterfall offers custom searches as well as providing current hot keywords to view. Tweets cascade from the top of the page, and eventually are buried under the weight of new messages. The queue can be refreshed, paused, or cleared. This application provides highly customizable searches of Twitter, including location and exclusions. This allows you to stay on top of the curve.

WhatTheTrend allows you to narrow down your search with international listings. Definitions of trends are provided by contributors, so you can see exactly what is popular and why. Results are listed by hashtag. The premium version enables you to set time parameters to compare tracking trends over a period of time, as well as offering reports and in-depth analysis of current trending topics.

Topsy lets you determine what is popular. It is a real-time search engine that can filter mentions by Twitter, photos, experts, or search the entire web. Topsy is a great research tool available in a number of languages. This powerful application gives you access to the mountains of information on the web in a whole new way.

Trendsmap floats a tag cloud of what’s popular over a map of the United States. You can zero in on your location by city or region, or by your actual location if you enable that feature. Click on any tag to get a stream of tweets on that subject. There is a list of breaking trends, or you can check out trends by country or city. Trendsmap allows you to see trends in your target market area.

TrendingPeeps identifies the popular people on your timeline; using the number of mentions by people you follow to pinpoint popularity. There is also a Facebook plug-in, allowing you to determine the trending people there. This can be a fun application and can also indicate who you want to keep in your sights.

With the prevalence of social media sites nowadays, you really want to stay abreast of what’s cool and what is just yesterday’s news. Listed above are some of our favorite Twitter tools to use – what tools do you use to stay on top of Twitter trends? Tell us your favorites in the “Comments” section below.

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Discover the many different Twitter applications available at My Twitter Toolbox and learn more about how to use Twitter for better productivity. See more information about how to Twitter effectively and improve your life.