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Twitter hashtags can be very confusing especially for people who are new to Twitter. In a nutshell, a hashtag is any string of characters excluding spaces that follow a number sign (e.g. #cool or #whataretheytalkingabout). 

Additional questions about Twitter hashtags include:

Who creates them? Anyone can create a hashtag.

What is the purpose of hashtags?  To categorize key words or phrases which can be easily found in a Twitter Search.

What do they mean?  Clicking on a hashtagged word displays all other Tweets marked with that keyword.  A popular hashtagged word usually becomes a Trending Topic. 

How do you create a hashtag?  Compose a tweet.  Select a keyword(s) or phrase.  Insert a # in front of the selected keywords.  Viola!  You have a Twitter hashtag.

What is the hashtag etiquette?  

 - hashtags included in Tweets from public accounts allows anyone to search for that hashtag and subsequently view your Tweet.

 - Don't spam with hashtags.  Don't over-tag a single Tweet. It is suggested using no more than 2 hashtags per Tweet.

 - Use hashtags only on Tweets relevant to the topic.

Now that you have a better sense of what a Twitter hashtag is, I encourage you to try creating a hashtag with your next Tweet!

This blog originally appeared on The De-tech-tive 4 Teachers.

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