Although we see hashtags everywhere these days, many people probably initially associate those things with Twitter. On that social medium, you use the hashtag as a sort of collection bin for similar information. You look up news, look at photos and actually read personal stories.
In short, the hashtag on Twitter is actually one of the most important functions of the platform. Without it, it would really be a mess. But what turns out? Frontend engineer Jane Wong delved into the foundation of the medium and discovered that the company wants to tweak the feature. Or rather, wants to ruin it.
Twitter wants to tweak hashtag?
Wong is not just any engineer, by the way. She more often discovers features and components within popular apps that then make the news. She is a reliable source of information. Companies don’t always move forward with the plans she discovers, but as someone who is watching, she can’t do anything about that.
Twitter is not loading because you did not give permission.
Twitter is working on an experiment where #hashtags are no longer clickable links
(unless the Tweet contains Branded Hashtags like #OneTeam and #Periscope that brands pay to add an icon next to hashtags for a while to promote stuff)
Not sure what this is for… pic.twitter.com/DdcYyDVaNM
– Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) October 10, 2022
What she has now discovered: Twitter is experimenting with hashtags that are no longer clickable. So now when you click on one of those, it takes you to that treasure trove of information. But it seems the company wants to take that feature away. Unfortunately, at the time of writing, it is not clear why this would happen.
It’s all about the money
Wong does have an idea about this. Possibly Twitter wants to create clickable hashtags exclusively for companies. Companies can often pay for such a nice hashtag, to which a flag or icon is added. So this is a source of income, one that the medium may want to use sparingly.
And when you make a certain item exclusive, then something like that gets a certain status that people (or companies) are happy to pay for. Whether this is actually the case, of course, remains to be seen. At the time of writing, Twitter itself has not disclosed anything about the changes or future plans around this.