Social networking site Twitter has got into the World Cup spirit by reintroducing its popular ‘hashflag’ feature just in time for the start of the global spectacle.
The facility allows users to show their support for national football teams by adding embedded flag emoticons, bringing a bit of flare and colour to Twitter newsfeeds. This item was initially introduced for the 2010 edition of the world football tournament, and its popularity has seen it make a comeback for this year’s competition, taking place in Brazil from 12th June.
There are 32 countries participating in the tournament, each with its own hashflag. To use them, users simply tweet using the three letter code of their country. For example, to use the England hashflag, you would simply tweet #ENG and the flag would automatically appear when the tweet is published.
One of the first to tweet using a hashflag was Colombian singer Shakira, who tweeted:
“Twitter’s just unlocked its new World Cup feature – from today country codes become hashflags!”
This was complemented by a number of flags, including that of her native Colombia.
The social platform estimates that up to 90% of UK users will be viewing the event, and it has been announced that there have already been more tweets relating to the sporting contest than the whole of the 2010 event.
Twitter has outlined that it will be counting all the tweets using hashflags, and will reveal the country that has used them the most.