Hashtag or Pound Sign

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Want to gauge a person’s age? Ask them what this symbol is: #

The younger generation knows it almost exclusively as a hashtag, while those a little older know it as a pound sign and might not be sure what a hashtag actually means. 



It doesn’t matter what you call it, but the # symbol plays an important role in social media and that’s why so many now know it as a hashtag.

Hashtags came to fame on Twitter, but now many other platforms have adopted them as well to different degrees of success.  It is defined as a word or phrase preceded by a symbol or hash sign (#), used on social media websites and applications to identify messages on a specific topic.  The hash sign basically classifies or categorizes the accompanying text, such as a tweet.  

The intention and function is still the same for them everywhere-to allow people to all read the same conversation, even if they aren’t friends or connected.

A hashtag creates a clickable link that does a search for you on whatever hashtag-enabled platform you might be on so you can see everyone else’s public post/tweet/update on that particular topic.

Hashtags can be serious and specific, like being tied to an event such as a conference or they can be fun and general, like #winning.  The sky’s the limit. 

Even if you don’t use a hashtag in your own social media updates, try clicking one that interests you sometime to see how they work.  Because of it’s widespread use, hashtag was added to the Oxford English Dictionary in June 2014.  

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