The Evolution Of The Hashtag
Aside from social media, hashtags are now connected to almost every TV show, movie campaign, celebrity, political campaign, sporting event, breaking news etc.
These hashtags can be specially promoted for individuals to use in order to interact with each other, promote anticipation and see related news connected to the product or event.
Twitter didn’t create the hashtag. Hashtags came into existence for what they are today because of Chris Messina, a product designer. Chris did in fact get the idea of a ‘hashtag’ from chat rooms. In August 2007, he pitched the idea to Twitter, they rejected it.
But then again that is the beauty of Twitter, their biggest features have been suggested and hacked together by the platform’s users, the Twitter engineering team.
On Twitter is easy to search a topic by hashtag and find all the related posts. Twitter sorts the posts by Top Tweets (most engagement), Latest Tweets, People, Photos and Videos.
Research has shown that the use of one or two hashtags on Twitter helps increase engagement on content by over 20%, whereas three or more begins to decrease the engagement on the content.
Hashtags are much less useful on Facebook than on Twitter or Instagram, this is because most people keep their Facebook accounts private, making the user’s posts unsearchable out of the three social media platforms.
Facebook has the least success with hashtags as too many hashtags in a Facebook posts just creates noise and will significantly drop the reach of the post.
The idea behind the hashtag remains the same on Instagram as on Twitter, though they work a bit differently. Instagram is in direct contrast with Twitter when it comes to the correlations between the number of hashtags and the success of the post. On Instagram the most successful post has lots of hashtags.
The utility of the hashtag is huge. It has become a way to group content, filter through the Twitter timeline, follow breaking news, start a movement and discover new people, friends and content.