Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Twitter # and @

Twitter # vs @

Twitter is probably the simplest of the social networking sites that are very popular today. It doesn’t use a nifty interface filled with eye candy or have complicated features. Instead, it focuses on simplicity and getting the message across. Two of the tools used by twitter are the special characters # or “hash”, and @ or “at”. The main difference between the twitter # and @ is in how they are used. The main use of # is to identify certain topics and keywords in the message. In contrast, the use of @ as a prefix identifies the name or handle of the twitter user.

The hash tag or # is at the very heart of twitter usage. You prefix it to certain keywords that you want the system to take note of. These keywords can then be searched, sorted, and organized by the Twitter servers to generate the list of trending topics. With the use of trending topics, you can learn what is happening around the world or what is being talked about the most by the Twitter users.

On the other hand, the @ symbol is used to denote that you are referring to a Twitter user.  This is very evident in how usernames are prefixed with @. The usual use of the @ symbol is when you want to reply to the tweet of a certain user or you want to mention someone in your tweet. It can also be used to directly send a private tweet to someone. Instead of being available on your profile and visible to all, the tweet can only be read by you and the user that you tweeted to. The user will also be notified in case you mention him or her in your tweet using the @ tag. If you just mentioned his handle without using the tag, the system will not recognize it and would consider it to be plain text and not a username.

The twitter # and @ symbols are independent tools that all Twitter users eventually familiarize themselves on and use on a regular basis. They are actually necessary to take full advantage of Twitter’s  capabilities and be able to express your thoughts and emotions to everyone in the Twitter world.


  1. # is used to identify topics and keywords while @ is used to identify users

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