You’ve probably seen people use the # pound sign in Twitter posts, and maybe you’ve wondered what they’re for. They’re called hashtags, and they’re mighty useful.
What’s a # hashtag symbol mean?
A hashtag is a great way for people to organize around a topic on Twitter. Think of them as categories, or ‘tags’ that can be used to identify tweets related to specific topics.
For example, if you search for Bend (without a hashtag) on Twitter, you’ll probably get something like this:
Anything with the word “bend” was found. However, if you search for #Bend, you’ll find what you’re looking for:
Hey, it’s Bend, Oregon! If you’re looking for (or talking about) activities in Bend, use #inbend:
Ok, that’s cool.. so how do I search Twitter like that?
You’ve got a lot of options, but here are a few popular methods.
Twitter Search – it’s on the right hand side of the page when you go to your Twitter profile:
Topsy – nice search that sorts tweets by popularity:
And it shows top authors for a given topic, which is a good way to find people you might like to follow:
Another good search is Twubs, which shows related hashtags, like #centraloregon and #bendites:
If you prefer to browse, the Twubs homepage provides a nice index of hashtags by category:
Fantastic! Can anyone use hashtags?
Yes! You’ll find them especially useful for events, such as the #ppp or #ignite-bend. Go for it, and don’t be shy – help us give Bend a voice in the Twitterverse!
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