Hashtags are everywhere these days. But when it comes to Twitter, they’re an essential part of how the social network functions. However, it seems that Twitter has been considering changing how users interact with hashtags – and that might ruin them.
This could be the end of hashtags on Twitter
As first noted by engineer and app researcher Jane Manchun Wong, Twitter has been “working on an experiment” in which hashtags are no longer clickable. Currently, users can click on a hashtag to quickly find other tweets with the same hashtag.
For example, there are several TV shows that encourage viewers to write about them on Twitter using the same hashtag. Apple itself often uses the #AppleEvent to promote its special events. Thanks to hashtags, you can also easily see the photos that other people are sharing as #ShotOniPhone.
With this change, it would no longer be possible to click on a hashtag to find other tweets using it. Although the reasons behind this test are unclear, Wong has an idea of what motivated Twitter to consider putting an end to hashtags.
The engineer notes that Branded Hashtags, which are those with a custom icon (also known as hashflags) will remain available. These special hashtags are only offered to brands that pay for them, similar to an ad. In other words, Twitter may have realized that keeping hashtags exclusive to paid content will result in more money for the platform.
Of course, it’s important to keep in mind that this is just an internal experiment and that Twitter may never actually remove hashtags from its platform.
More about Twitter
While we don’t know what will happen with hashtags, Twitter recently announced some public new features, such as the option to combine GIFs, videos, and images in the same tweet. In addition, Twitter Blue subscribers now have access to the long-awaited option to edit tweets.