In short, Twitter is the murderer. They made some major changes that impacted the way hashtags and many other third party services worked, in this case totally broke the connection and rendered hashtagging DOA. So the fine folks at DowntownCartel contacted Evan Williams and his twitter gang and politely asked if they could get an XMPP feed once again so they could fix hashtags once again for twitter’s members. They were told “sure thing, no problem” but here it is over a month later and still nothing. I contacted the hashtag crew and all they would say is that they are still waiting on Twitter and plan to resurrect hashtags once again as soon as they are given what they need from Twitter.
I understand that Twitter has many major problems to fix and hashtags are low on their priority list. However, from what I understand, enabling an XMPP feed is not that big a deal. Why wouldn’t they do this? It’s in Twitter’s best interest to allow people to use hashtags. It’s a tool that more and more members are using for big events especially.
This data would be useful and actually fun with the new features that hashtags have added like aggregated media which pulls images, videos, links and blog posts related to the hashtag into the same page with all of the tweets with that hashtag.
What Can We Do About it?
I’m writing this with the hope that it might get some attention and ultimately make its way to Evan Williams and his team at twitter. Maybe they’ll realize just how much their members want and need hashtags again and provide what’s needed in order to get this fixed once and for all. Let’s all let them know how much we want hashtags to come back from the dead. Tell Twitter how much you want hashtags back by posting your request on their GetSatisfaction feedback page. If enough of us speak up then they have to listen.
Note: Here’s a primer I did on twitter groups and hashtags