Being able to check the meaning of a trending hashtag before jumping in with a response could help save existing users' blushes and make navigating the network much easier for new members.
Contextual computing is one of the big tech buzz phrases and by offering a dictionary of sorts to its growing user base, Twitter will be doing its bit to contextualise what's going on.
The new feature, first discovered and reported by the Wall Street Journal, offers an expanded definition alongside a host of popular hashtags. So for example when #manutd is trending, you'll know that the hashtag refers to the British football team Manchester United.
Crucially, as the publication reports, the feature also points out that #rt refers to Russia Today, and not retweet.
Twitter, like Google has a reputation for testing out ideas and then quickly dropping them again if they seem misjudged or are being ignored by users. But anything that makes the network easier to use -- and to trust and to engage with -- is surely going to be embraced by its 271 million monthly users and counting.— ©AFP/Relaxnews 2014