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That Mysterious # sign in Twitter…What Does it Mean?

 

Note:  Originally published on July 28, 2008 (yes, that long ago), it’s now been updated with additional information.  Don’t forget to check out the new article on Facebook’s use of hashtags as well.

 

I’ve recently started using Twitter a lot ( you can follow me at http://twitter.com/KristineWirth) and would sometimes see people who post a tweet using a hash symbol (#) before a few words…I never gave it much thought until another person on Twitter wondered what the hash symbol (#) meant.

Since I had seen it as well, I too got curious and so decided to do a little investigation…here’s what I found…

The hash mark (#) before a word in a post allows you to tag that post for that word. However, in order to get tracked via a hash tag, you need to opt-in and follow http://twitter.com/hashtags.  Once you’re following Hashtags, every time you make a post in Twitter and tag it with a hash mark like so:  #iPhone, it will then show up as a real-time post on http://www.Hashtags.org.

If you then visit Hashtags.org, you can click on any tag and it will show you all of the posts that have been tagged with that keyword.

I use the term “keyword” with a grain of salt since some of the tags aren’t keywords in the sense that you know them related to search engine optimization, because some of the tags are completely non-sensical in nature. And although you can get a complete list of words that have been tagged on the site, there is no way (at least currently) to search for a specific tag.

However, it is possible to view all tweets (posts made to Twitter) that contain a specific tag by modifying your URL a bit like so:  http://hashtags.org/tag/iPhone.

You can also subscribe to any updates that contain a tag by visiting http://hashtags.org, entering in the tag you want to follow and then clicking “subscribe” on the right hand side of the page.

Since Twitter only allows you to post 140 characters at a time you can see how you’d have to be pretty selective when using the hash mark – although one character doesn’t seem like much, you’d be surprised how much you actually need that one additional character when trying to get a point across in your Twitter post.

I’d love to hear your thoughts…have you had experience with the hash mark via Twitter?

See Also:  Twitter Karma – How to find out who is following you back on Twitter.

A few other alternative sites you might want to check out:

  • http://twubs.com/ – Twubs are groups of words using the hashtag in Twitter.  It’s kind of a neat little site so I’d check it out.
  • http://tagdef.com/ - This site is useful as well.  It helps you understand what those Hashtags mean.  For instance the hastag #tbt means “Throwback Thursday”.  All kinds of goodies here.
  • http://www.whatthetrend.com/ – This helps you follow Hashtag trends.

 

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Comments

  1. Shirley Stroh says:

    Worthless, and more work and remembering! Just post and we can understand it!! Use the mark as it was meant not some NEW needless thing someone invented! JUNK!

  2. jik47 says:

    This did not make a lot of sense to me. Why ” tag that post for that word?” This all just seems like an electronic diary to me for what everyone is feeling at the moment. Just don’t get the relevance of that.

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    Thanks! This really #helpful info

  5. [...] actually somebody. The important thing to remember is that @TwitterName signs are for people and #hashtag signs are for [...]

  6. robbie says:

    I am even stinking older than I thought. The # sign always meant pounds when following a number and number when proceeding a number (ie. 37#=37pounds, ID#=ID Number). Now (like everyone else) I see this sign attached to EVERY TV title on every network. According to your explanation we now have to call this a hash sign and somehow use it with twitter (I have less than no interest in twitter).

    So my question; is attaching the # (hash sign) to a TV title only of value to those who tweet (tweet being another abnoxious new term), or is this attached # (hash sign) have any other use or meaning with TV shows? OMG is this yet another dubious gift from those tweety folks?

  7. [...] pool, which is viewable at the hashtags website. (If this is all Greek to you, check out this excellent explanation of “hashtags” and how they work.) Twitter user Andy Carvin, for example — who also happens to head up [...]

  8. IRC says:

    When the # thing started popping up in the corner of TV shows, I’d log into IRC and nobody would ever be in the room but myself… I could never figure it out, the # was never used for anything else but IRC room names… I refuse to join Twitter. I’m keeping my #’s for IRC.

  9. Anonymous says:

    What does #TU mean
    ?

  10. madhu says:

    its very nice & intresting1

  11. Trish says:

    Thank u for taking the time to explain.

  12. THANK YOU! Thank You!! Finally clarification. I have shared with all of my friends. I am only 29 and many of my friends have been very confused on this # thing. It is explained on the Twitter website but nothing like you have done. Your article is great. Thank you for really breaking it down. This is very well appreciated and received : )

  13. Hello, just wanted to say, I loved this blog post. It was funny. Keep on posting!

  14. Thank you!! New to twitter so you explained it well!!

  15. [...] you’re making an update using Hootsuite and you want to make reference to a certain hash tag on Twitter then within your status update you’d use the # symbol.  Since you’re also updating [...]

  16. pooria.ms says:

    Thanks. very useful

  17. Nice explanation I just search about # sign in twitter and now I know I can practice it on my own..:) thank you very much.

  18. Phyllis Smith says:

    And some people (me) use it to seem cool, whether or not they know what it means

  19. Dave Doolin says:

    I’m sad that wthashtag is gone. It was pretty cool to me. I think there is business model around hashtags, they’re just too handy.

    Also, it’s amusing to read posts from 2 years ago announcing the death of hashtags. Greatly exaggerated, as the man once said.

  20. Bernie says:

    Every time I clicked on the hash mark I got a long line of entries that had nothing to do with the subject in which I found the hash tag embedded. It was a mystery to me, and really remains so. I don’t really understand its usefulness. I appreciate your attempt at enlightening me!

    Thanks!

  21. As a twitter noob this has been a great insight

  22. Tami says:

    Just joined Twitter today (I know I’m a late bloomer), one of the first things I noticed were the hash marks as I have not really been following social networking for some time and so it looked alien to me. Thanks to the author and also to all those that replied with more useful info on how to use the # in Twitter.

  23. hey les hablo desde españa oye tio esta pag es la mejor gacias adioooooooooos

  24. So, if you post a tweet with a hash but without an @ to anyone, only your followers will see it, and/or perhaps the group that is following #theGroup ? But what if you have a person and a group with the same tag… #igotasti is the company of @igotasti for igoasti.com Does igota have to allow or turn on a group or allow hash marks to work? Would @igotasti see it if I post it only to # ? Or would he have to be subscribed to the hash to get the notice of the post?

    Very confusing.
    Thanks
    jeff

    1. kristinewirth says:

      Jeff – if I’m understanding you correctly, you’re wondering if the particular company you’re referring to would see that you have mentioned them if you only use a hashtag. And they may, it depends upon whether or not they follow the hash tag itself (which you had mentioned). (For the record, some companies, not all, but some that have an interest in keeping an eye on mentions of their name online will see that hash tag). Whether or not this company does, I obviously don’t know. Hash tags work best when there are large numbers of people using the same one. For instance, EzineArticles.com runs a contest called “A hundred articles in a hundred days” and they use the #HAHD hash tag. You’ll also see the most popular hash tags when you log in to your Twitter account and look down on the right underneath “trends”. Today for instance, there’s #thingsthatpissmeoff (LOL) and Verizon wireless’ #MM2011. If you are mainly concerned with whether or not the company can see mentions of them, you’re better off using the “@” symbol.

  25. TheKoolDots says:

    Timely Information!

    We’ve recently started using Twitter and also were wondering how to take advantage of the this.

    Thanks

  26. ah! i get it! thanks, i think i will be using these # tags more now. thanks dude :) i have been wondering about them for a while. good article.

  27. [...] notify that person that you have Tweeted about them and the #followfriday is what’s call a hash tag.  It is important that you place the “@” symbol in front of every individual’s [...]

  28. I was told the hash marks (pound sign) doesn’t have any functionality on Facebook. But I’m no expert.

    Great article BTW.

  29. Ava says:

    Thanks, just started twitter 3 days ago and glad to find an answer to this…

  30. Stephen says:

    Thanx for the post! I’ve haven’t used twitter all that much, but will probably start… still learning all the little “signs” and such…

  31. Li-Or says:

    I was wondering what the hashtag meant and your site was first on google to come up. Thanks for enlightening me :)

  32. Corri Byrne says:

    Thanks for the article on # tags, as an under-user of Twitter I’m just not keeping up with the times – and yes, the article’s over two years old but give an old guy a break!

  33. D.Penn says:

    Thanks for a clear yet concise explanation!

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  34. Jaf Terwel says:

    Has anyone noticed that some (many?) people are inserted the poundsign (isn’t it only a “hashtag” if that is the intent?) in front of some words or phrases in their status updates on Facebook? I knew about the hashtag in twitter, but am not aware of the same functionality in Facebook.

  35. The things you learn in the twittersphere!! Thanks for your help, I’m still learning the ropes:-)

  36. Realtor Steve says:

    Congrats on being top on my google of the question! Just what I needed

    1. kristinewirth says:

      Glad it helped!

  37. pitso says:

    it worked…and i love the design of your blog

    1. kristinewirth says:

      Thank you!

  38. Nicole says:

    Thank you for sharing that with us! I have started using Twitter more often lately and that symbol was a mystery for me as well.

  39. [...] 2. the “#” is explained well by Kristine Wirth: “The hash mark (#) before a word in a post allows you to tag that post for that word. However, in order to get tracked via a hash tag, you need to opt-in and follow http://twitter.com/hashtags.  Once you’re following Hashtags, every time you make a post in Twitter and tag it with a hash mark like so:  #iPhone, it will then show up as a real-time post on http://www.Hashtags.org.”from: http://kristinewirth.com/that-mysterious-sign-in-twitterwhat-does-it-mean [...]

  40. Thanks a lot kristinewirth for your post.

    It was very useful as I was somewhat deterred by twitter’s 140 character restriction. Probably it was just me but I could never manage to routinely get my twitter content to to 140 characters or less.

    With yesterday’s announcement from Twitter that users can now boost the characters used to over and above 140 characters, in addition create video clips together with other rich content, I’m delighted.

    I intend to use your suggestions to really increase my twitter promotions.

    Saved.

    Thank you

  41. Really useful for me – thanks for taking the effort to post!

  42. Calmplex says:

    Thanks for the info… still not sure what the use of hashtags are though… i understand what they do now but why?

  43. Thanks I have been wondering about the # too!

  44. Thanks for explaining – I’m still need to Twitter (started really late) so found it all quite confusing at first. Surprisingly, it’s all beginning to make sense very quickly though! All the best.

  45. katrina says:

    thanks..it helps alot.. :)

  46. Leah says:

    Hashtags.org is still working for searches. you type a hash in and you can see the frequency of use.

    good info! glad i found this article.

  47. Michel says:

    Ohh, so thats what the # symbol mean. Thanks for the post!

  48. A good post and explanation!

    Well done

    Roland Millward

  49. Craig says:

    time to start using hash tags. Thanks

  50. G Clark says:

    Thanks for this simple but really useful explanation

  51. Tents says:

    Brilliant! top article, many thanks.

  52. Jim Jinright says:

    Great information. I never understood what the hash mark was and how to use it. I’ll be checking out those sites you recommended straight away. It would be fantastic to know who is tweeting about a particular subject; especially one that is of relevance to me and my industry.

    Thanks for the education on this! :)

  53. Veronica says:

    Today I attended a seminar that indicated we submit comments and questions through twitter by ADDING #HubSpotSMB. I got curious about the # and upon search I found your article. I went to hashtag.org and now they show a list of the latest tweets with such tag. hashtag.org/HubSpotSMB so I think somehow they are not dead. I do not see the stats of #word in their graph, but this exposed me to many of the followers of such tag. The graph points to http://trendistic.com that also lets us see what the trends of any particular word are, which is a resource. Thank you for your article. Definitely a tool for the web marketeer.

  54. [...] said Dr. Nelland, director of Faculty Development at Homeland University. “You say ‘hash,’ not ‘pound.’ We’re talking about people who still remember using the Western Union phonetic [...]

  55. Anat says:

    Thanks!!!
    Now I am aware about # symbol used before any words but can u explain the significance of @ symbol

    1. kristinewirth says:

      Absolutely! – the “@” symbol is usually followed by someone’s Twitter name. Many people use this to reply to a tweet someone made “Great Job @someone!” or as I’m sure you’ve noticed that Friday’s on Twitter is #FF or Follow Friday where you’ll often see numerous names recommended by others @person1 @person2, etc.

      Placing the @ symbol in front of someone’s Twitter name makes it click-able so that everyone else who sees the post can click on that person’s name and see all of their Twitter updates.

      Hope that helps!

  56. Thanks for the great explanation. Cheers Ted

  57. Alvaro says:

    Hashtags service is over!!! its page shows a ‘deceased’ message and announces an out-of-business sale, is there any alternative service?

    1. kristinewirth says:

      Thanks for the heads up! I’m revising the post now.

  58. Jan says:

    Thanks for this useful information. I’m new to Twitter and looking to maximize the experience! I’ll be back here to learn more. Off to follow you now!

  59. Tents says:

    Some very useful and helpful information there. I strongly think that even though many people know what the # does they didn’t know other things associated with it. Thanks a bunch for the article.

  60. Signage says:

    This is some very usefull information, thanks for telling us about the # tag, it seems like it is a usefull thing to use if your using twitter, I may have to check out twitter. thanks for the information.

  61. Felix Cruz says:

    Thanks for all the great information. I was going crazy trying to figure out what the hashmark meant

  62. Alex the girl says:

    Been wondering what that little bugger was all about and I actually could not find it in the Twitter help links. Thanks a lot for this one :)

  63. fatosus says:

    how soon after following the @hashtags will get my post with # sign show up in the real time search? thanks

  64. Hello, this is the second message that I am sending you. I cannot get onto the sight because my username and psssword are being denied. I am using those I submittes when I signed on. I am losing patience and will likely never come back and I will speak to a lot of people re: this matter. If you don’t need anmy new users, then tell them at the time of sign-up. This is the last time I will try to sign in and if I am rejected, I will never be back and I’ll take my friends with me. Thank You, Sincerely, Bryan Phillips.

    1. kristinewirth says:

      Bryan – what site are you referring to? I don’t run any of the sites I talked about in this post so if you’re having issues, you need to take it up with them.

  65. S Barringer says:

    I did a Googel to find out about the hashmarks in Twitter and found this website. Thanks for the info.
    http://twitter.com/sandlynx

  66. [...] 3.) Learn about using the hashtags to help attract more and more targeted followers: Tip: First, you need to follow: http://twitter.com/hashtags. Learn more here: [...]

  67. THANK YOU! Jesus, I looked on mashable, twictionary and twitterspeak and didn’t find the meaning of #, but they used it all over the place. Whew!

  68. Joel Ungar says:

    Thanks for the explanation – I’ve been totally confused by it.

  69. [...] is an excellent listening tool, with its @ reply and # hashtag searches.  A friend of mine joked about Rush Limbaugh’s Twitter account claiming that he [...]

  70. Page says:

    Gen y reporting here from Oz: The hash is the sign of the times. It’s new…but that’s what makes it what it is and why we love it. Our prediction: Wait another 10 minutes, humanity will stumble upon the next e-volution, and hashtags will be small (virtual) beans. Regardless, we’re on board!

  71. Shawn Hazen says:

    THANKS! I’ve been wondering about this…

  72. kristinewirth says:

    Cole –
    I believe that it used to be the case where you could follow the hashtags directly in Twitter (this post was originally written over a year ago)…however, now the best way to do so is to visit http://hashtags.org, enter in the tag you want to follow and then click “subscribe” on the right of the page.

    Thanks for bringing this to my attention, I’ll be sure to update the post itself.

    - Kristine

  73. Cole Musolff says:

    i cant follow the hash tag update for #dontyouhate. I do exactly what you say, i say..follow #dontyouhate…and it says it cant find that person. I know im spelling it right. whats going on

  74. Becca says:

    I have seen the hash tag on Twitter many times and was VERY confused. At first I thought it was a way to get your tweets posted on another, designated site. Who knew? There are some that make sense to me, but others just seem silly. By and large Twitter has confused me! I have been used to using more complex sites like Facebook or Myspace, so the simplicity of Twitter actually threw me for a loop. Then with the hash tags and @ symbols I have not yet become used to using Twitter. I still get confused. I guess it’s time to catch up and stop calling it the pound key and use the hashtag reference instead!
    Becca S.

  75. Dennis says:

    Thanks for the explanation– it had been driving me crazy as well. Time to jump on the bandwagon :)

  76. Diane says:

    Thanks! Sounds silly, but after three days of searching and being convinced my hashtags weren’t working, you gave me piece of mind. I visited hashtags.org and was shocked! by the results!! thanks again!

  77. Donna Maher says:

    Hey Kristine,

    Thanks for the in-depth answer – I ‘googled’ my question about those hash tags in some people’s twitters although it seemed from their context it could be keyword-related but then you never know in a newer realm what means what for certain.

    I appreciate your explanation and will check out the hash tags site.

    Have a super evening,

    Donna

  78. Rob says:

    Re: “You can also subscribe to any updates that contain a tag by posting “follow #tag” (without the quotes) in Twitter.”

    Thanks for the info, Kristine, but I don’t understand this part. What do you mean by ‘subscribe’? And ‘posting’? Posting is the same as making a tweet, I presume? (Sorry if I sound like a dumbarse but I’m new to Twitter.)

    Do you mean to say that if I make a tweet that simply says “follow #videogames”, I’ll automatically start following any twitterers (*chuckle*) that make a tweet tagged “#videogames”? That’s it? Couldn’t that get out of hand?

  79. [...] did find this article that helped to explain hash tags a lot .. “The Mysterious # sign in Twitter .. .What does it mean?” What’s cool about this post is it will also take you to a few other sites that can be [...]

  80. Eric says:

    Wow, I knew that the # was for tagging post but was unaware of the site hashtags.org. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

    Erics last blog post..Turbo Cash Generator Review

  81. kristinewirth says:

    I honestly don’t know that I’ve ever seen a hash mark clickable to be honest with you. Usually it’s just added after the comment; wish I could help but have not seen a clickable hash before.

  82. eduardo says:

    i am following that hashmark profile so i decided to test a hashmark out so i uposted one and it isnt clickable like other peoples’ are. theirs are like links to that specific hashmark but mine isnt a link :( help?

  83. oral seymour says:

    Thanks for clarifying what the # sign means. I couldn’t find another explanation anywhere!!

  84. thanks so much for this. I was invited to a twitter bookclub and didn’t know how to access it. I’m learning this little by little and I’ll come back here!

  85. THANK YOU SO MUCH! WOW! Now if I can use Twitter’s Hash Tags and # signs.. :) to make my Dad get in the Mustang Hall of Fame.. I will be a happy camper and owe it all to you! #PhilClarkforHALLOFFAME!

  86. hangover cure says:

    Great stuff, thanks!

  87. [...] you Twitter you have surely noticed the little hash marks (#).  These signify that the post is related to a specific keyword.  Some examples: #iPhone [...]

  88. [...] you Twitter you have surely noticed the little hash marks (#).  These signify that the post is related to a specific keyword.  Some examples: #iPhone [...]

  89. Sherell says:

    That information was extremely helpful…i never knew what the # mark meant in the twitters.

  90. Kathy says:

    Ugh! Just started on twitter and already I feel so behind! The hashmark almost did me in, honestly. I feel like I’m back in high school with the cools and their own secret language.
    Thank you for cleaering this up for me!!

  91. susie says:

    Thanks so much for clearing this # mystery!! I just started on Twitter and couldn’t figure out the the # was. So I googled “what does # mean in Twitter.” and there you were. The number one spot! Thanks for clearing that up.

  92. Roy Fuchs says:

    As it is, too many tweets are trivial. Tracking hash marks seems to be the ultimate test of Gresham’s Law – bad money driving out good.

  93. Andre says:

    Thanks for this post, such a relief. So, with this new found info, I went and posted two tweets using the # :-)

  94. JN says:

    you can use @tagalus (http://tagal.us) to get/set definitions for #hashtags – it’s the largest/oldest of the hashtag dictionaries

  95. My first glance at twitter’s hash marks makes me think of channels in IRC…

  96. hey great article, can anyone recommend me a good app for SEO?

  97. Whyinthehell says:

    Aack, thank you! This was majorly helpful. I hope you’re getting good karma constantly….

  98. dropshipping says:

    Thx this will help me a lot, now I know how to use twitter.

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  99. Lisa Irby says:

    This was so helpful! I’ve been wondering what the hashtag was for and how to use it.

  100. Alison says:

    Thank you! I also just googled “twitter hash mark” – and you’re the top hit. Thanks for a clear and detailed explanation!

    Alisons last blog post..33) Make like a V-neck…

  101. kristinewirth says:

    You’re very welcome Quintin! Glad it helped you out.

  102. Quintin says:

    Holy Cow that was helpful!!! I have been looking for an explanation for months and google finally spit you out! Thank you thank you thank you. Now I can sleep in peace (I just got use to the @ stuff… even though thats basic).

    Quintins last blog post..NDH Broadcast 3.22.9 [Topic: Fashion]

  103. Whew. Now I can sleep at night. Thanks for expounding on this!

  104. Isaac Dorsey says:

    Aren’t all words searchable in a tweet. What is the advantage in using tags if all words are searchable?

  105. Leila says:

    hrmm…tried what you were saying for example:

    http://hashtags.org/tag/BlackBerry

    but this (BlackBerry) and any tag I put in (fitness) gives me an error:

    503 Service Unavailable
    No server is available to handle this request.

    I’m still confused and don’t know how this ‘hash tag’ thing really works!

  106. green says:

    Oh good! I googled the answer to this and brought up your insightful research! Doing all the work to find an answer just got easier. :)

  107. Christy says:

    Thank you for this post! I use twitterfon on my iPhone instead of sms; the app tracks trends and tags in tweets. Half of the results on the trends search had the # before it – bugged the heck outta me until I found your post.

    @mathew – I didn’t want to look like a noob twit either!!

    Thanks again
    @lady_saffy

  108. Mathew says:

    Thanks for the article, a nice simple concise article that saved me from looking like a noob twit.

  109. kristinewirth says:

    Helen –
    That’s what I understand. I posted this quite a while ago and honestly can’t remember where I found the information.

    If you’re interested you can also visit http://search.twitter.com/ and enter in a hashtag such as #fail and see all posts that have been made with that hashtag. Not just the ones from people you’re following.

  110. Helen says:

    Kristine, great post, thank you! Just one question, when you say “You can also subscribe to any updates that contain a tag by posting “follow #tag” (without the quotes) in Twitter.” do you literally mean, add a tweet which says #[tag] and nothing else to then start receiving tweets on key words?

  111. Carol says:

    What a relief to find such a clear and concise explanation. Thanks!! :-)

    Carol

  112. kristinewirth says:

    You’re very welcome Dirk.

    It all spawned from my own curiosity so I’m glad it helped others as well.

    - Kristine

  113. Dirk says:

    Another big THANK YOU (sorry, it was meant to be big, not uppercase…) to you Kristine to figure out the thing with the #hash sign. The twitter help strategy is soooooo poooooooor…..

  114. kristinewirth says:

    Hi Jeremy –

    Typically the hash mark comes before the hash mark message. For example:

    Sample Twitter message: It’s a great day today. #greatday

    The message after the hash mark can be literally anything at all but I’ve seen it used often to communicate between groups. Sometimes there will be a seminar that many people are attending and they’ll have a hash mark code that they use to identify that seminar.

    Sometimes people will have a tweetup locally where people on Twitter who live in the same location will get together. Then they’ll use something like #dmtweetup to identify that group.

    Hope that helps!

    - Kristine

  115. jeremy says:

    Hi Kristine,

    I don’t understand how the hash marks work? Do you put the # after the message on twitter than it goes to the person?

    Jeremy

  116. meeshell says:

    Thanks for this post, this is the explanation I was looking for!

  117. Hi Kristine,

    Thanks for this. You just opened up a whole new world of content for me! Wait, I already don’t have enough time, what’s this going to do to me! :)

    Seriously, this will let me track some topics I really need to track. Thanks.

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  118. [...] to a #Boulder Media Women event…”. If you’re also wondering, here’s an easy to follow explanation from Kristine Wirth’s blog. In brief, the hash marks are a sort of keyword tag in Twitter, [...]

  119. Jonathan says:

    Hi Kristine!

    Great post! For this very reason I started http://hashmarksthespot.com/, a directory for # entries. I caught on pretty quick to what they were, but didn’t know what some of the acronyms meant. Hope you find it useful!

    JT

  120. [...] might just be the answer. Cover it Live allows Twitter accounts to be displayed (up to 12), and hashmarks, as well as allowing people who come to your site to get into the live [...]

  121. [...] itself. The audience can include their messages by texting them to a (dutch) shortcode, or using a hashmark in their twitter posts.  It enhances the involvement of the audience with the talk, as they have a [...]

  122. That Mysterious # sign in Twitter…What Does it Mean?…

    An excellent post and explanation on just what those hash tags do and mean on Twitter….

  123. Thanks so much for explaining this.

  124. Andrea says:

    Hashmarks can also allow your tweets to automatically post to a particular group or a community website, be used to enter you into contests and serve other related functions.

    I just used a hashmark related to a public event that I attended earlier today (#eventname). Posting the name of the event with the preceding hashmark published my tweet to a related community website, while entering me into a contest being hosted by that website. So, they definitely serve a wide array of purposes.

  125. kristinewirth says:

    Actually I’ve personally never heard of tweetchat. There’s so many new applications for Twitter that it’s hard to keep up.

    That being said, I really don’t think that there’s a way to determine if someone is using hashtags to track keywords. Great idea though.

    - Kristine

  126. Thanks for clarifying this for me. Now, I have more questions:
    I’ve seen that hashtags are also used to participate in tweetchat. (http://tweetchat.com) There’s another chat function whose URL escapes me at the moment. How do you know if someone is just using a hashtag to track keywords, or if it’s the chat room?
    Please keep the good news a’comin’! Thanks again.

    MaryBeth Smith @divamovers last blog post..Star Wars, or whatever

  127. Nancy says:

    I’m glad I finally searched the web for an explaination of what the # in Twitter posts mean. And I learned the # is called a hash tag. Who knew? (obviously, not me)

  128. Thank you thank you thank you… I’ve been all over twitter trying to figure out what the hashmarks mean.

  129. Thanks for this blog post. I found it by Googling “twitter hashmark” because I wanted to understand the use of hashtags better (and there’s nothing in Twitter’s help section).

  130. Jorin Cowley says:

    Hey thanks for the information, I searched Google as well, and you came up, I just started using Twitter a week ago, and I’ve been wondering about the # sign from the first day!

  131. Thanks a bunch! It’s been driving me crazy.

  132. TallMan says:

    Great concise explanation I too came to google trying to find out the deal on the # i keep seeing. Good explanation. I can definately see some use for the hash tag & marketing uses/branding. ie #UPS #myonlinestore. #journchat is one i am watching now!

  133. Hey — thanks for being there w/ your post when we were trying to figure out the deal with the pound sign, er, I mean, “hash tag.” Although your post was as clear as it could have been, like most things social networking, we’ll have to figure out how best to use it by actually using it. Still, we appreciate sharing your insights and experience.

    This world is getting crazier and crazier all the time, don’t you think?

    Best,
    Lani & Allen
    “A-Ha Yourself!”
    http://www.AhaYourself.com

  134. Kathy Purdy says:

    I saw many from the BlogHer conference tweeting with them and wondered what they were. Thank you for saving me some time googling the answer.

    Kathy Purdys last blog post..How to read more blogs in less time