The concept is very simple: If a tweet begins with a #hashtag, the only way the tweet would appear in your stream is if you (a) subscribed to the #hashtag, and (b) one of the people you’re following writes a tweet that starts with that #hashtag. In all other ways, it would behave like a typical #hashtag.
In my experience, it is a very rare thing for tweets today to start with #hashtags, so this change in how tweets are displayed in the stream wouldn’t likely impact legitimate tweets.
For background on why I think this would be a great feature, please keep reading.
For a long time I’ve wanted to solve a pain-point, whereby sometimes I want to discuss or comment on topics that may annoy my Twitter followers that are uninterested in the topic.
For example, I’m watching the Warriors/Cavaliers NBA game, I want to comment on it while the game is on, but most of my followers don’t care (or maybe they’re watching the game tape-delayed and don’t want any spoilers).
Currently there is no solution for this scenario: I either annoy my followers, or I don’t discuss the topic on Twitter. These options are bad for my followers, and for Twitter.
Twitter itself has done some great tie-ins with live sports, using hash tags, in some cases presenting the user with the video stream of the game being discussed, etc. A great experience.
However, the underlying issue is not resolved: Anyone discussing that topic (the game hashtag) is invariably annoying many of their followers, especially if they really want to comment a lot during the event.
As I said in the opening, I’ve been trying to solve this issue myself, and even went so far as to start formulating a new discussion platform, called FanFriendly, but ultimately concluded that it would be best to try and work within the constructs of Twitter itself. I’ve been trying to solve the problem on a more immediate basis by starting to create thousands of accounts, e.g. @FanFriendlyNBA, @GSWvCLE, etc. The idea being that people interested in NBA games would follow @FanFriendlyNBA, which would tweet out today’s matchups, and you could then follow the games you’re interested in (e.g. @GSWvCLE).
The primary intention was to make it easy for people to then tweet directly @GSWvCLE during the game, and only your followers who have also followed @GSWvCLE would see your tweets, solving the problem of annoying uninterested followers. You could also choose to go into the @ replies stream of @GSWvCLE if you wanted to see what everyone was saying about the game in realtime.
The problem with this is for me to cover all the leagues and matchups to make it work, I’d need ~5000 Twitter accounts. I’m still trying to get permission to do this, but seems unlikely.
This brings me to my feature request today.