The hashtag has been around much longer than Twitter has. The format was a popular one used for IRC servers, and many of us were well acquainted with hashtags by the time the popular micro-blogging site adopted it in 2009. Though Chris Messina undoubtedly managed to refine hashtags into something much more useful, and launch the format into mainstream internet use.

In order to take advantage of Twitter’s innovative search algorithm and live feed, tools have been popping up all over the place that use hashtags more thoroughly. But some have gone that extra mile to be creative as well as functional.

Here are six creative hashtag tools that are sure to impress.

1. Twitterfall

6 Creative and Inspiring Hashtag Tools

I am in love with this tool, I have to admit it. You have three different categories: lists (for specific users), searches (for keywords) and geolocation (within 10 – 200 km/miles, as per your specification). You can also put in exclusions of things you wish not to be presented in search results. Once you put in your parameters, it will begin to queue tweets based on these searches. Each one will have a different color, and strips of tweets will move in a straight line like a waterfall. Don’t want to wait? Just hit “empty queue” and it will bring them all down at once.

2. Picsho

6 Creative and Inspiring Hashtag Tools

This is one of the coolest ideas I have ever seen. It is a picture sharing program that allows you to gather photos under hashtags from all over Twitter, Flickr, Lockerz, Instagram, Tumblr, yFrog and MobyPicture. Then create a gallery using those photos, under the same page, which can be shared out to friends. It is easy to use, functional and a lot of fun.

3. The Archivist

6 Creative and Inspiring Hashtag Tools

Twitter won’t allow you to keep many tweets, or for that long. Which is a major problem for those of us who rely on analytics for marketing campaigns. The way most of us get around that is painstakingly keeping backup data updated on a bi-weekly or weekly basis in a spreadsheet. But that is no longer necessary. The Archivist will save and analyze tweets, creating easily understood graphs and managing all of your data for you. They have both a desktop and a web based version.

4. Twubs

6 Creative and Inspiring Hashtag Tools

Find and engage in a conversation on any topic you can possibly think of. This tools gathers hashtags and forms little groups, showing off top tweets, what people are saying, popular posts, photos, links and more. You can enter your own hashtag to find others out there who are talking about a subject, or start a conversation of your own. Post to the conversation through Twubs, and pause the live feed if you have to step away.

5. Monittor

6 Creative and Inspiring Hashtag Tools

One of the fastest and easiest Twitter hashtag followers out there, this is a great way to look at different trending topics side by side. Talk about Twitter productivity! Basically, you add in your search terms and Monittor creates columns for each one. They are loaded up next to each other, as many as you like, with constantly updating live feeds you can scroll through. It is even black with light text, and so easy on the eyes.

6. Tweetchat

6 Creative and Inspiring Hashtag Tools

Another way to engage in conversation. This tool lets you enter in a hashtag, and then follow everyone else who is using it. Many sites, organizations and blogs will hold Twitter chats these days, and this is a nice way to follow them. Just put ion your hashtag and hit ‘Go’. You will be able to sign in to your Twitter account to reply, pause the feed, refresh the page and more.

Do you know of any creative hashtag tools you would like to share? Let us know in the comments.