#Hashtag: What Is It And Why Use It?

Mrs. OldGoat asked me the other day "When did the pound sign become this "hashtag" thing? And why do we keep hearing about it, anyway?".

The "#" symbol is familiar from phones and other places as the number or pound sign, and when placed immediately before a word or phrase, the whole thing becomes a hashtag, such as #babyboomers.

The hashtag has no spaces and can contain upper and lower case letters (and less commonly, numbers), if that makes it easier to read. The hashtag is simply a way to categorize a Twitter post by topic, and allow others to find posts on that topic.

Hashtags are also in use on other social media sites like Google Plus and Facebook. You can come up with an original hashtag if you like, they are not fixed in stone. It has also become a convenient marketing device for movies, and social and political causes, which is why they are so prevalent these days.

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