Twitter introduces hashtag pages

Today Twitter unveiled its new pages for its hashtags feature with the launch of the #NASCAR page. The new pages are designed to better promotes trends and brands and feature such items as banner displays (similar to Twitter's recent business page redesigns), top Twitter accounts and the obvious inclusion of a live feed featuring tweets sent using the hashtag in question. 

To promote the new hashtag pages, Twitter released its first television advertisement during today's NASCAR Sprint Cup race in Pocono. The brief 16-second ad invites users to "See what [Brad Keselowski] sees." The commercial then directs viewers to the new #NASCAR page. In February, Keselowski caused a media frenzy by tweeting pictures of a crash from his car during the Daytona 500, including one picture he took while driving.

As Business Insider points out, the purpose of the commercial is actually to convince advertisers to use hashtags. Twitter's hashtags have become a major asset for advertisers, who frequently use the feature to promote events and products. Multiple television shows, such as Fox's Fringe, have used the feature to create episode-specific hashtags for fans to interact with one another, thus promoting the shows. Twitter is widely expected to go public within a year, and advertiser support is its primary source of revenue. 

On Thursday, Omid Ashtari, head of sports and entertainment at Twitter, posted an entry on the company's blog calling the new hashtag pages an "experiment." In the entry, Ashtari indicated the #NASCAR page will continue to change during the current NASCAR season. Ashtari also stated that "a combination of algorithms and curation will surface the most interesting Tweets to bring you closer to all of the action happening around the track, from the garage to the victory lane."

Sources: Business InsiderTwitter

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Interesting idea, since hashtags are less "tangible" than a company, more like an idea or community. So a company sponsoring an event / community that a user is already engaged in should be bound to be a safe bet for a company spending advertising funds.

It's actually a bit like Google Adwords in that they are presented only if a user is actively looking for that information. Googling "pizza" may give you local pizza restaurants, and that's a great ad, since this is what the user was looking for. Spot on. Much like how a hashtag shows the kind of information that a user was looking for. No second-guessing the users, like on Facebook, where all advertisers can do is to guess ads by a user's interests and "likes" (which are used extremely generously and barely useful to direct ads by). And then simply hope that "this is maybe what the user is thinking about now".

I think this will be a success. It would be a great success too, since it's not intrusive. You don't see this NASCAR page if you aren't making a Twitter search on #NASCAR. Yet, still powerful and in my opinion more powerful than the Facebook ads even if Facebook has much more information about their users. Advertisers there can still only guess what's on the users' minds. This could be a major boon to Twitter and their issues with making their service financially sound.

Anthony Tosie said,

Hashtag pages? It seems Twitter's implementing them on their own right now. If you mean the enhanced profile pages, check out Twitter's business guides: https://business.twitter.com/

Unfortunately, these too seem to currently be limited to a small selection of brands, perhaps also at the choice of Twitter. But they'll apparently roll this out more broadly in the "coming months".

This could be the genius idea for monetizing twitter for businesses and event organisers! Official, ownable, brandable hashtags!

The only issue will be in providing, and stipulating that this page support be included in Twitter apps, and ensuring it works in the mobile site.

One problem I can see is how people will find these pages. Maybe a new block on the left for your followed hashtags or recent viewed hashtags. Personally I find the trending list utterly useless because it's always filled with stupid things like #WhatYouShouldKnowAboutMe, celebrity's I don't care about or promoted tweets.

Gaffney said,
One problem I can see is how people will find these pages. Maybe a new block on the left for your followed hashtags or recent viewed hashtags. Personally I find the trending list utterly useless because it's always filled with stupid things like #WhatYouShouldKnowAboutMe, celebrity's I don't care about or promoted tweets.

Absolutrly!