Twitter releases stock-tracking 'cashtag'

First there was the humble hashtag. Now, Twitter has revealed a new way for investors to search for stock-related news and updates: the cashtag.

by Rebecca Burn-Callander
Last Updated: 19 Aug 2013
The tags are made up of a ‘$’ symbol followed by a ticker: $GOOG, $FB, $AAPL, for example. Twitter users can click on these cashtags to bring up an instant round up of the latest investor news and trading updates. Handy, huh?

But there is one small problem with Twitter’s latest innovation. But some are claiming it's not their innovation.  

Finance whizz kids, and users of CNN Money, Yahoo Finance, Bloomberg, and Reuters will recognize the cashtag as the brainchild of StockTwits co-founder and CEO Howard Lindzon. Cue a raft of angry tweets condemning Twitter’s ‘copycat’ antics.

Lindzon waded into the debate last night, alleging that the micro-blogging site had ‘hijacked’ the $ symbol tagging idea, which has been one of his company’s most popular features. ‘I am disappointed of course that Twitter is hijacking our idea,’ he says on his website, ‘but StockTwits moved beyond that basic functionality four years ago. In a dirty way, it’s the ultimate compliment.’

The plot thickens, because Lindzon also claims that Twitter recently turned down the chance to get in on the cashtag action: ‘a few months back they told me in a detailed email it was not a hole they wanted to fill,’ he says. Well, somebody’s had a change of heart, because the cashtag concept is about to be rolled out to include up-to-the-minute share prices.  

The cashtag is likely to be one of many new hyperlinked tagging mechanisms to help Twitter users collate and discover information. Twitter’s mission statement is to ‘instantly connect people everywhere to what’s most important to them’ after all. Although, MT is struggling to think of a successor to the cashtag. The ‘mashtag’, creamed potatoes meets army medical satire, perhaps…

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