A flag emoticon corresponding with a country’s hashtag, introduced in anticipation of the World Cup. A variation on Twitter’s popular ‘hashtags,’ hashflags are an added Easter egg for fans following the international football competition. Whatever country you want to follow, you simply type in a 3 letter hashtag (like #usa or #ita) into Twitter and it’ll show you that country’s flag.
It’s mainly just a fun feature to enhance your World Cup tweets, but using the decorated hashflags also counts as a tally for the eventual “World Cup of Tweets.” The country with the most hashflags wins the social competition (the soccer competition takes a lot more work), announced when the competition begins on June 12. Twitter is also offering World Cup-specific timelines to make it easier to follow the action. Real-time game tweets, stats, and messages from the teams will make it a go-to for fans of the worldwide competition.
The hashflags will only be viewable on Twitter itself — tweet-viewing services and embedded Tweets will only show the country codes. Hashflags were first introduced in 2010’s World Cup championship, won by Spain. For more on what Twitter is offering to keep World Cup followers informed, check out their blog.