If you frequent social networking site Twitter, you may have noticed judicious use of the hash symbol, or "#", by users on the site, followed by a word or series of words. These are hash tags, and aside from being convenient ways to collect similar content on the site, they are also the sources of a variety of hash tag games.
What is Twitter?
Twitter is a social media network on which users post text messages that consist of 140 characters or less. These messages are broadcast on Twitter for anyone to see when they click on a specific user. These messages also are broadcast to a user's "followers," or those who have signed up to view another user's updates. Twitter users can include the handles of other Twitter followers in each of their messages.
What is a Hash Tag?
A hash tag is a device used on Twitter to keep track of tweets, or Twitter messages, with a common topic or theme. A hash tag includes the "#" symbol followed by a word or series of words. For instance, a tweet about Major League Baseball might include the hash tag "#MLB" or #majorleaguebaseball." When another user clicks on one of these hash tags, they will see all tweets that include the hash tag "#MLB" or "#majorleaguebaseball."
Hash Tag Game
Many users on the social networking site play hash tag games. These games are simple: a user begins to use a hash tag that has a particular theme, and other users respond with their own ideas, all hash tagged under the same word or phrase. These games can go on for an indeterminate length of time. There are no winners or losers, though you may get something for a particularly clever response in the hash tag game; other users may retweet your answer, raising your visibility on the site. These games have no rules, and they only end when people stop using the hash tag. They serve no purpose other than entertaining those involved.
Examples and Considerations
Hash tag games often revolve around a random topic to which users respond with a clever turn of phrase. For instance, the hash tag used in the above example about Major League Baseball would not be considered a hash tag game; it's simply a descriptor of Twitter content. On the other hand, Urlesque, a Web trend information site, documents some examples of clever hash tags that can be classified as hash tag games, including "#filmfoodeating." Urlesque presents the following tweet as a participant in this particular hash tag game: "Sandwiches of Eastwick #filmfoodeating."