It's all about social # | The Twitter Hashtag: What Is It and How Do You Use It?
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The Twitter Hashtag: What Is It and How Do You Use It?

The Twitter Hashtag: What Is It and How Do You Use It?

Once you’ve started using Twitter, it won’t take long before you come across what’s known as a hashtag. That’s when you see something in a tweet that has a # prefix. When I first saw these things, it took me a while to wrap my head around what the their purpose was. But, once I “got it,” I realized it’s not as complicated as it seems.

NOTE: It’s called a hashtag because the “#” symbol is referred to as a “hash” symbol in some places. (It’s more commonly referred to as a “pound” symbol in the U.S.)


What is a hashtag?

A hashtag is simply a way to categorize a tweet’s topic(s), which then makes it easier for people to search for other tweets about those topics. For example, if you type #Hamilton (or #hamilton or #HaMiltoN, because it’s not case-sensitive) into the Search box at the top of any Twitter page and hit Enter, you’ll get a list of tweets, most of which will be related to the Broadway musical.


The results page provides several options for filtering the list. The default is Top. I’m not sure how they decide what counts as top, although I imagine it has to do with the number of followers a tweeter has or the number of times the tweet has been retweeted. You can also choose to display a Live feed (all tweets with the hashtag that will continually refresh as new tweets are posted) as well as feeds of tweets that include links to current News stories, Photos or Videos. If you click More Options, you’ll get a menu that lets you filter tweets based on who and where they’re coming from, as well as options to save and embed the search or to do an advanced search.



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