How are trending tags determined? Is there a certain number of times that a hashtag has to be used to be considered trending? Is the min number of times dynamic / based on use of other tags?

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The Trending Hashtags is found using the GetTrendingTags method of Microsoft.Office.Server.UserProfiles.PeopleManager.

It builds the following search query ContentTypeId:0x01FD* write>="Now-6days" with the Refiners property set to Tags(filter=20/0/*,sort=frequency/descending)

ContentTypeId:0x01FD* matches NewsFeed posts and replies.

This all boils down to this definition of Trending Hashtags:

The top 20 tags used in NewsFeed entries the last week (actually 6 days)

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