One of the most useful features on Twitter is being withdrawn as of today – the hashtag.
For anyone not on Twitter, a hashtag is the universal # symbol, and helps to separate individual conversations from the overall Twitter stream. For example, if I want to just talk with people about silly jokes, I would use the hashtag #sillyjokes. This would help others just follow that conversation by opening up a browsing window just for that hashtag.
There are some hugely popular hashtags, like #blogchat – a chat about blogging, oddly enough – and #socialmedia – a topic about social media (who said us social media types weren’t smart?). But, as of today, no more.
Twitter issued a statement saying that they were stopping the use of hashtags because of its connotation with drug use. Hash is slang for hashis, also known as cannabis, a drug known for making you feel sleepy. Not something that’s much use when you’re on the fast-paced world of Twitter.
“While we recognize cannabis may be legal in some countries, it’s obviously a concern for us to be associated with drug use. Even if Twitter co-founder Ev might look stoned to some folks, we can assure you he isn’t – he’s just a laid-back happy chappy!”
The announcement probably doesn’t come as a surprise – Twitter is looking to monetize its service, and being too stoned to click on promoted ads isn’t beneficial to anyone.
So, farewell hashtag – we knew you when, and you were fun. Guess it’s back to the drawing board for the Bong Button that was due to replace the Tweet button…
More details of the Twitter ban on hashtag use can be found here.