Hashtags: a Twitter community creation
Because Twitter provided no easy way to group tweets or add extra data, the Twitter community came up with their own way: hashtags. A hashtag is similar to other web tags- it helps add tweets to a category. Hashtags have the ‘hash’ or ‘pound’ symbol (#) preceding the tag, like so: #traffic, #followfriday, #hashtag. Hashtags can occur anywhere in the tweet: some people just add a # before a word they’re using, like so:
Other people use popular hashtags that already seem to have a set etiquette. For example, Haiku hashtags, ever popular, usually list the hashtags at the end, like so:
Although hashtags aren’t an official feature Twitter provides, their popular usage is usually visible on Twitter Search, which usually has a hashtag term in trending topics:
Topics range from things as serious as #iranelection to light birthday wishes for Souljaboy- it just depends on what people who use hashtags are talking about!
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. A few simple best practices we recommend include only using hashtags on tweets relevant to the topic, and not over-tagging a single tweet. (This article, with all the hashtag information you ever wanted to know, recommends using hashtags sparingly, and using one to three per tweet, at most.)
Popular hashtag activity
Take a look at the third party site, hashtag.org, to get an idea of popular hastags used on Twitter.
Find out about trends, look at small, pretty graphs, and search to see if the hashtags of your fantasies exist.
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