Twitter unveils 'cashtags' to track stock symbols

@CNNMoneyTech July 31, 2012: 3:33 PM ET
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Twitter announced the arrival of the new "cashtag" feature via a tweet Monday.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Attention, Wall Street tweeters: Twitter has made it easier to look at stock news.

The social media service unveiled its new "cashtag" feature on Monday, allowing users to click on stock symbols and see what the Twitterverse is saying about, say, $GOOG, $AAPL or $FB.

The system works the same way as Twitter's already well-known # hashtags. Cashtags require a "$" followed by the ticker symbol.

Twitter isn't the first to come up with cashtags, though. Four-year-old StockTwits pioneered the concept and has been curating $-tagged stock information for years.

StockTwits co-founder and CEO Howard Lindzon isn't thrilled to have Twitter grabbing hold of his feature. (CNNMoney is a StockTwits media partner.)

"You can hijack a plane but it does not mean you know how to fly it," Lindzon wrote in a blog post. "In a dirty way, it's the ultimate compliment."

Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Lindzon isn't the first Twitter developer to complain about the company muscling on trails blazed by other startups. Last year, the company launched a photo feature that competes directly with existing sites like yfrog and Twitpic.

Twitpic founder Noah Everett turned around and retaliated with Heello, a micro-messaging network with an undeniable resemblance to Twitter.

"If Twitter can compete with its developers without fair notice, then why can't we?" Everett said at the time. To top of page

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