Twitter Will Soon Tell You What Hashtags Actually Mean

Struggling with #smh? Little behind on your #lol? Not exactly up to date on #futboltotaldirectvquevuelvacandal? Don't worry, Twitter has you covered — it's working on a feature that will tell you exactly what hashtags mean when they become popular.

The Wall Street Journal says that Twitter is testing out the "easier to use" hashtags, but at the moment it's a feature restricted only to the iOS app and only to a select number of test users. If it comes to maturity, it should reach a more widespread audience soon. If you're part of the test group so far, when you click on some hashtags, you'll get a four or five-word explanation of what the marker means, and also potentially sort by location or find people using the same hashtag nearby.

Twitter has been running a lot of experiments on its users recently, including testing changes to the retweet system that would let users add a full 140-character comment to any tweet they were sharing with their followers, rather than including that tweet in the character count. Usually hashtags are used in a pretty straightforward way in Australia — we have #qanda, #AmazingRaceAU and so on — but sometimes a bit of an explanation will come in handy. [Wall Street Journal]

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