Report: Twitter testing a new feature to better define popular hashtags

Twitter has started testing out a new feature that would make it easier for users to learn the context behind trending hashtags, according to a report in today’s Wall Street Journal.

The Journal made these observations after using Twitter’s iOS app. However, Twitter hasn’t confirmed the news.

The Wall Street Journal used the feature to determine that #manutd is linked to the Manchester United soccer team and #hhldn is associated with Hacks/Hackers London, a small technology event. While some might think that “#rt” represents “retweet,” The Journal found that it is also legitimately linked to tweets pertaining to Russia Today.

If Twitter rolls this translation feature out to all users, it could clear up an ample amount of confusion.

Twitter users send out some 58 million tweets each day. It can be challenging to determine what each hashtag means. This experimental feature could make it easy for you to find out if “#got” really means “Game of Thrones” in the context of what people are tweeting.

However, it’s unknown how these hashtag definitions are being generated or how accurate they are. The Journal tested the newsworthy tag, “#MH17,” in reference to Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, and nothing popped up.


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