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. 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.
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.