Someone please explain all the Facebook postings that end with #somethingstupid I know it has something to do with Twitter, but where/to whom do these posts go to? And why is there, what seems to be, a random string of words smashed together?
The hash tag is Twitter's way of starting threads, sort of. If you add it to the end of a Tweet, anyone who subscribes to that hash tag will receive it. Pretty much anyone can put pretty much any hash tag they want on their posts.
It can be good for things like conferences, so everyone can send/receive Tweets using the same hash tag.
It can be good for memes and such -- everyone can jump on the same boat.
Sometimes it's just tagging the post for extra emphasis. No one really cares if there's an actual "conversation" around the tag, but the tag serves as extra emphasis/punctuation.
If they show up in Facebook, it's because the person is auto-forwarding Tweets to their FB status or because they are using it for emphasis/punctuation purposes.
I am no expert, but I think the idea of the hash tag is that it groups replies about the same subject together on Twitter. Some people seem to carry the hash tags over into other venues.
For example, Jimmy Fallon does a funny bit where he comes up with a hash tag (like #WorstHolidayTradition) and asks viewers to send in their stories to him on Twitter. He ends up with some funny stuff, but of course he sorts through thousands of replies to get a dozen good ones.
Which to me is the drawback to Twitter. The ratio of people who do it well to people who do it anyway... #NotSoGood.
I still don't get it. Sigh. Anyone else with minimal "social media" skills suspect that one day we'll be killed by the tornado/terrorists/aliens because the news regarding how same are approaching from the west will be transmitted by Tweet?
It's called a hash tag. On Facebook it usually means and does nothing, it's just something people do to be funny, except as noted above.
When used on one of the microblogging sites, like Twitter, it becomes a keyword or meta data for search. So, if you like that sort of thing, you could be watching the Oscars and also searching Twitter for anything that is marked #theoscars to see how other people feel about winners, losers, dresses, etc. Or on Instagram, you could search #grandcanyon to see pics people took of the Grand Canyon, that kind of thing.
Twitter is just a way to constantly share your thoughts with others, in tiny little nuggets. 140 characters or so I think. Some people are really fun or funny to follow - Neil Patrick Harris or Nathan Fillion are. If you like football, someone actually tweets as Peyton Manning's head (because he does have a big noggin; I love him anyway) and those are some funny tweets.
And now I can sign this something like #totalnerd.
I was mostly oblivious to Twitter until the snake got loose from the zoo and somebody started posting as #BronxZooCobra, which was pretty hilarious. I still don't follow it much, but there are some funny people who have raised it to an art form.
IF I see, for example, #lovemyhorse on a tweet where do I go read all the comments on the 'thread' #lovemyhorse
If you're on twitter, #lovemyhorse will be automatically hyperlinked and you can just click it to see other people posting about how they love their horses. If you see it on Facebook, that's just because someone has their accounts linked or they think they are being witty. You cannot click the hashtag on Facebook.
Since twitter is such a confusing mish-mash of posts, hashtags help organize. While I don't personally care how much people I don't know love their horses, I might care about breaking news or a local personal interest story that has a hashtag. I can then easily follow all the latest about that subject.
That is, if I used Twitter much, which I don't. I do like that Twitter often has the latest on breaking "news" that isn't majorly newsworthy - like a local power outage, house fire, or such.
Whenever hashtags show up on my newsfeed it's not because someone forwarded their tweets to facebook, it's because they
a) don't know how facebook works
b) think it's cool/funny/insert hipster adjective here