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What is a Hashtag? and How do I Use it?

Updated on January 2, 2012
One of my tweets using hashtags for a hubpage article i wrote before christmas
One of my tweets using hashtags for a hubpage article i wrote before christmas | Source

Twitter arrived on the world stage with the introduction of revolutions and celebrity couples. It immediately proved its point of being useful on a large spectrum, from organizing revolutions to the meaninglessly information about what snack you just ate! Whether you like it or not Twitter has become a very important social network. From personal use to business and social action, the mini blogging site has revolutionized the Internet. So as more and more people join the site it creates a larger impact on society. Such a force also brings with it new terminology, which not everyone understands. Twitter has already done this with a number of actions involved in the blogging site including Tweets, which are your status updates, and tweeting, which is a verb that refers to the act of writing or being involved in posting a tweet. usually once you have used the site for a while these terms become more easily understood, however many who use it for business might not have the time to completely immerse themselves into the new language. So this hub is going to look at one term that can be vital to any tweet as well as any tweeter. What is a hashtag and how do you use it?

Top #Hashtags of 2011








List found at Huffington Post

What is a #Hashtag and How do you Use it?

So in the Twitter universe a Hashtag is not just the symbol #, it means so much more. Hashtags on Twitter connect tweets, allows other Twitters to see tweets from people they don't follow and can even describe tweets. Hashtags, like it's mother Twitter can be of the most importance in a social action situation, Amber alert, even weather report; or it can be meaningless fun for Tweeters.

Hashtags often end up in the trending list, which is a list of the most popular words being used on twitter at any moment. It's kind of like a meter of whats being discussed on twitter, many current events will show up. To the right is a list of the top seven hashtags of 2011. As you can see Egypt and Japan made the list, one for it's revolution, the other for it's earthquake disaster. This proves that Twitter has an important role in crucial life and death issues across the world! However the list also proves that Twitter is used for fun too, with hashtags like #superbowl making the list. The versatility of twitter is amazing!

So how does Hashtages work on Twitter? It's pretty simple when you want to use a hashtag to connect your tweet to a larger audience, connect it to a topic, or just use it to describe your tweet; come up with that keyword and just put a # (pound) sign directly in front of the word or phrase without any spaces! For example if i tweeted about an article i wrote on Hubpages, i may want to add a hashtag of hubpages to my tweet so that people looking for hubpage related tweets can find it. The hashtag would be written like this #hubpages . Now two things to keep in mind when using hashtags! One is to make sure you have enough characters left to include your hashtag, Twitter is a micro blogging site and therefore only allows you 160 characters to post per status! Second is to choose your hashtags wisely, make sure it is relevant to your tweet if you want people to read it and any misspellings Will prevent it from being seen by the intended audience.

Sometimes hashtags even have special meanings! For example the hashtag #wx is normally used to refer to weather. The hashtag #p2 is a political one that means progressive 2.0, referring to liberal tweets. On the other end of the political spectrum hashtag #tcot is used for the top conservative tweets. Then of course you also have some hashtags that have been around since the beginning like #followfriday (now #ff) which is a way you list people you follow in a tweet on Friday and add in the hashtag to suggest them to your own followers to follow.

Was this article helpful in your understanding of #hashtags?

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    • BWD316 profile image

      Brian Dooling 5 years ago from Connecticut

      Thanks Steve West I'm glad it was helpful!

    • Steve West profile image

      Steve West 5 years ago from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

      Good work, you answered a long standing question of mine.

    • BWD316 profile image

      Brian Dooling 5 years ago from Connecticut

      Thanks for the comment htodd

    • htodd profile image

      htodd 5 years ago from United States

      This article is very interesting ..Thanks for it

    • BWD316 profile image

      Brian Dooling 6 years ago from Connecticut

      Yup you can do that or if you have a comment about an event, like a sports game you can say "what a great play" then end the tweet with #yankees to signal that your tweet was about the Yankees and not something else. I'm glad the hub was helpful LucidDreams and thanks for the comment!

    • BWD316 profile image

      Brian Dooling 6 years ago from Connecticut

      Thanks Debbie Roberts I'm so happy this was helpful! Once you have some idea about hashtags and start to use them it will come very quickly. Twitter and hashtags are a great way to follow sports I'm sure you and your son will get it in no time! Thanks for the. Omment and share!

    • LucidDreams profile image

      LucidDreams 6 years ago from St Petersburg, Florida


      I knew there was something to the # when I would see people using it. Thanks for the info, I have been wanting to take the time to figure that out. So you just put# in front of the keyword you are emphasizing?

    • debbie roberts profile image

      Debbie Roberts 6 years ago from Greece

      Earlier today my son asked if he could open a Twitter account to follow sports he enjoys. I said he could, but told him not to ask me about the hashtag thingys because I don't have a clue. I'll be showing him this hub tomorrow!!

      I think I get it now, they are basically keywords? I'm sure in a day or two my son will be able to show me how it all works.

      A good hub and I'm sure I'm not the only one who was clueless about hashtags!

      Voted up and shared.

    • BWD316 profile image

      Brian Dooling 6 years ago from Connecticut

      im glad it was helpful Victoria! thanks for taking the time to comment as well!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 6 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Very helpful. I've been tweeting some hubs on Twitter and noticed the hashtags. I had heard of them and wanted to learn more about them. Searched HubPages and found this hub. Thanks for writing this! I do understand much better now.

    • BWD316 profile image

      Brian Dooling 6 years ago from Connecticut

      Thanks Eddy I'm glad it was helpful and made sense, thanks for the comment

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 6 years ago from Wales

      A very interesting and useful hub so thank you for sharing.

      A vote up here.

      Take care


    • BWD316 profile image

      Brian Dooling 6 years ago from Connecticut

      thanks Jt and Happy New Year to you too!

    • JT Walters profile image

      JT Walters 6 years ago from Florida

      Given I knew nothing about hashtags before reading this article this was very informative but I don't think I would feel comfortable hashtag my tweets because I don't write in hastag form.

      Great Hub Brian and Happy New Year.


    • BWD316 profile image

      Brian Dooling 6 years ago from Connecticut

      exactly BlissfulWriter, great explanation, thanks for the comment i think it will really help the reader's understanding!

    • BlissfulWriter profile image

      BlissfulWriter 6 years ago

      I think of the hashtag as keyword tags in a blog post, or tags of keywords that you add to a Hub. If you use it in common keywords in your tweets, then your tweets may get better exposure when people search on those hashtags or even when people click on the same hashtags in other people's tweets.