Once you’ve started using Twitter, it won’t take long before you come across what’s known as a hash tag. That’s when you see something in a tweet that has a # prefix. (The # is a hash symbol, hence the term hash tag or hashtag.) I will admit I had on idea what this symbol meant! Twitter was very new to me and I am still learning new things! It took me a while to wrap my head around what the purpose of this thing was but, once I “got it,” I realized it’s not as complicated as it seems.
A hash tag is simply a way for people to search for tweets that have a common topic. For example, if you search on #LOST (or #Lost or #lost, because it’s not case-sensitive), you’ll get a list of tweets related to the TV show. What you won’t get are tweets that say “I lost my wallet yesterday” because “lost” isn’t preceded by the hash tag. Twitter didn’t provide a way for people to ‘group tweets’, so the community came up with their own way -hash tags were invented by the users.
How do you use them?
Simple, you put the ‘#’ before a series of words or letters to identify what you are tweeting about. Hash tags are used for all kinds of things, including conversations. If you add a hashtag to your tweet and you have a public account, anyone who does a search for that hashtag may find your tweet. Although any keyword with a # in front could be considered a hashtag, there are many commonly used hashtags. Aside from not using hashtags for spam purposes, there are no formal rules for hashtag usage.
Here’s a link to a great video that explains how to use hash tags.
Do you have a hashtag you’d like others to follow? Be sure to tell us about it in your comment.