Twitter May Do Away With Clickable Hashtags, Apparently, In Bid To Make More Money

Twitter May Do Away With Clickable Hashtags, Apparently, In Bid To Make More Money

Twitter Inc. TWTR is working on an experiment to limit the usage of clickable hashtags — that lets users discover trends and find tweets related to specific topics.

What Happened: Twitter is experimenting with reducing the functionality of clickable hashtags. Security researcher Jane Manchun Wong tweeted that the social media app was “working on an experiment where #hashtags are no longer clickable links”, and added, “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.”

Reducing the functionality of hashtags and only allowing them to be clickable for promotional purposes could be a way to monetize Twitter, said a report in DigitalTrends.com, adding that if that’s the intention, it’s an unusual approach.

The report said Twitter’s ability to foster communities is in large part due to its hashtags, and limiting their utility to just brands and promotional tweets seems like a mistake.

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Wong also shared a screenshot of a single tweet that just had a hashtag and nothing else. Since 'hashtag' is just a word and not affiliated with any brand promotion, it appears only as plain text, not a clickable link as it usually would be, said the report.

Why It's Important: Hashtags are a convenient way to find relevant tweets on specific topics. Since they are handy for browsing content, other social media platforms such as Meta Platforms Inc's META Instagram and China-based short-form video hosting service TikTok have them too. 

Price Action: Twitter closed Monday's session -0.58% lower at $50.07, according to Benzinga Pro data

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