Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you’ve probably heard of the term ‘hashtag’. It’s common tool used by people on Social Media to mark their comments or tweets.
Everybody uses hashtags but a lot of people aren’t sure of how they work and use them.
The term hashtag is an amalgamation of the words hash and tag. That’s because it’s essentially a tag beginning with a hash. We all know what tagging is from Facebook. You tag a picture or a post with other people’s names and the pictures show up in their feeds. Those of you in online retail would know that you always need to tag all of the products you upload with searchable keywords. That way whenever somebody searches for that keyword your product shows up in the search results.
Hashtags work in a similar way. You include a hashtag in your post and it acts like a searchable key word. For example if you posted something about the party at your place on Saturday, you could use the hashtag #saturdaynightparty. All your friends could use the same hashtag to talk about the party on twitter. Now all posts about the party will be grouped under that same hashtag and it’ll be easy to look at all the posts just by searching for that hashtag.
Twitter was the first popular social media platform that utilized this mechanic to group conversations. As hashtags grow in popularity they have been adopted by other platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Google+ among others.
As Hashtag use has grown people have used them in a variety of ways. Social causes like #yesallwomen highlighted women’s issues on twitter and now celebrities and brands have begun using them for marketing purposes. Hash tags are now an integral part of social networking and they are here to stay.