Ever wondered what people are talking about when they use a hashtag like #OITNB? Are you confused by the #tcot hashtag that always seems to accompany Twitter's most inane drivel?
If you're lost in a sea of hashtags, Twitter might be looking to help you out.
The Wall Street Journal has spotted a test that Twitter is running in its iOS app. For a small subset of users, searching for (or tapping on) some hashtags produces a context box above the lists of tweets containing said hashtag. It's an explainer – one that lets people in on the social media secret.
What exactly is #bringbackourgirls? What does #BB16 mean?
Here's a shot of the feature in action, courtesy of the WSJ:
I'm not seeing this and I looked all over Twitter for people talking about it – and the chatter is sparse. So it appears to be a pretty small test – but it's clearly a useful feature. How much would global conversations improve if people knew what the hell everyone was talking about?
Twitter tests little tweaks all the time, and scraps more than they ship. But this sounds like one that'll stick. Hashtags, though hijacked by people who have absolutely no idea when and how to use hashtags, were created to organize conversations. Helpful people figure out what they're talking about so they can actually join the conversation seems like a logical step.