Today, a friend on Facebook innocently asked what those words that appeared behind the number sign with no spaces in between meant.
Definition: The # symbol, called a hashtag, is used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet. It was created organically by Twitter users as a way to categorize messages.
- People use the hashtag symbol # before relevant keywords in their Tweet to categorize those Tweets to show more easily in Twitter Search
- Clicking on a hashtagged word in any message shows you all other Tweets in that category
- Hashtags can occur anywhere in the Tweet
- Hashtagged words that become very popular are often Trending Topics
Example: BE3Designs latest tweet: “My first gift I remember getting for Christmas was a Speak and Spell Computer. Looks like it paved the way for my career. #besttoyever”
The hashtag is #besttoyever, which breaks down to the keywords “best toy ever” and what is currently trending on Twitter. This means that you can search these terms on Twitter and you will see a timeline of all the tweets that contain these keywords.
The most common use of hashtags is to give your tweet location information. For example, Edmonton’s city code is YEG, so by adding the hashtag of #yeg to your tweet, you are allowing readers to determine that your information is specific to their local area.
So why would you see hashtags on Facebook? Dual users of both platforms will often connect their Twitter profile to their Facebook account which can process status updates to simultaneously be tweeted from their connected Twitter account.