Twitter started prioritizing money talk on its site today with the announcement of "cashtags." These are clickable ticker symbols, like $AAPL, $GOOG, and $FB, which take users to search results about the company's finances and stocks.
Twitter made the announcement via a tweet in which it wrote: "Now you can click on ticker symbols like $GE on http://twitter.com to see search results about stocks and companies."
According to The Verge, the cashtags come on the heels of other user-created Twitter innovations, such as the @reply and the #hashtag. (The hashtag, for instance, evolved into the social network's "Discover" tab.) In this case, cashtags also appear to be part of Twitter's emerging strategy to keep users on twitter.com instead of clicking away.
StockTwits co-founder Howard Lindzon, however, charged that Twitter has hijacked one of his company's key features. "You can hijack a plane but it does not mean you know how to fly it," Lindzon wrote. The entrepreneur claimed that Twitter had told him as recently as a few months ago that it wasn't interested in making its own cashtags.
Despite the "he-said, she-said," Twitter definitely seems interested now.
Currently, the cashtags take users to a Twitter search of the ticker symbol but don't yet show any expanded information within the Twitter service. Of course, this could, and probably will, change in the future.