Mar 16, 2009

What the heck is a Hash Tag ? #lost

If you've been twittering you may have noticed something strange within people's updates. The "#" (pound) key followed by a word or short acronym. These are called "hashtags".

What the Heck is a hash tag you may be asking yourself (as did I).

Hash tags are a way to communicate a updates "subject" or "theme" to others. Allowing them to "search" the subject and see all tweets that highlight or include info on that particular theme. explains how hashtags
were "designed to accommodate the real-time news community". Newsrooms could easily follow hastags to see what certain stories would be about.

Now the twitter community is using hashtags to share info to all interested in a topic. For example #adsense would highlight to others that that twitter profile is posting about google adsense. You may decide to follow that person, increasing their social network with people interested in google adsense.

You may see posts that say "
@wefollow #socialmedia #web #twitter #facebook #humor #internetmarketing #socialmediamarketing #advertising #lol" These posts are letting you know if your tweets include any of the interests that person will want to "follow" your profile - increasing your social network.

The good

  • Helps you identify profiles that share your interests
  • Helps increase social networks allowing you to reach more people
  • Allows you to search tweets that may interest you even though they are not on your "follow" list.
The bad

  • There seems to be no site that explains what the acronyms mean so unless they are general you may never know what they mean.
  • They can look messy and confusing making people skip them altogether.
  • They take away from the "human contact" that most joined twitter for in the first place. To "share" with their friends what they are up to.
The Ugly

My opinion is if hash tags take over twitter the average person may feel #lost and #confused and just #leave altogether.

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