The hashtag is an integral part of Twitter. They made up 40 percent of the trending topics in 2010, they have been used to organize protests, and businesses have found them to be effective marketing tools.
And much to the chagrin of Facebook users who have to read their friend’s Twitter updates, hashtags are a pretty Twitter-specific phenomenon in social media. However, the creator of the hashtag wants to bring them to Google+ – which could spell trouble for Twitter.
As Cnet reports, Chris Messina, the man credited with bringing the hashtag to Twitter, explains why he wants to now implement it over on Google+:
“Lots of people have requested the ability to target content [to] their followers based on topic (i.e. only share content to people who are following me AND interested in, say, comics). Since the product doesn’t support that kind of targeting, I’m just making something up, like I did with hashtags back in 2007.”
On Google+, Messina uses hashtags at the beginning of a post so that his circles can decide whether or not they want to read the entire length of the article, kind of like categorizing his thoughts. Like Twitter in the early days of the hashtag, they’re not hyperlinked – yet.
There are plenty of articles going around the social media-sphere which predict the death of Facebook, Twitter, or both at the hands of Google+. And although “stealing” the hashtag likely wouldn’t be the nail in Twitter’s coffin, it would take a bite out of what makes it unique.
What do you think? Should hashtags remain a Twitter-only thing? Or are they a useful tool that Google+ should think about implementing? Let us know in the comments!