It’s been about a decade of #Hashtagging. It’s arguably the most used feature in the social media today. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn etc., all use it. You probably may have come across tons of people who breathe Hashtag with all of their social media content filled with weirdest and wackiest hashtags.
What is hashtag?
It is a tag (#) which allows users to create groups or links which makes it possible for others to easily find messages with a specific theme or content. A sample post below uses multiple Hashtags.
So how did it start?
It all started way back in 2007 with a tweet by former Google developer Chris Messina. He tweeted this.
how do you feel about using # (pound) for groups. As in #barcamp [msg]?
— Chris Messina (@chrismessina) August 23, 2007
He convinced some of his close friends to use the # sign. The word spread, albeit slowly.
Stowe Boyd is the blogger who was first said to have officially called them “hash tags” in a blog post in August, 2007.
What fuelled it?
In 2008, conservative groups started using the # symbol to inspire the Congress to vote on an energy and security bill. This led to its widespread popularity across United States.
In 2009, Twitter hyperlinked Hastag and it’s then that the usage of hastags skyrocketed.
Hashtags vs Groups
In the groups in the social media, you may perhaps need to join, may be following a mandatory invitation. These groups are owned and managed by some users and hence every user may not have the same privelege.
With Hashtags, it makes it possible for anyone to easily browse for content with a specific theme.
Feedback on Hashtags
While there are hashtag fanatics on social media and some remain neutral towards it, there also is a section of people who criticize it.
Many organizations use it today to promote their product, theme etc., but there have been some instances when it has backfired. McDonalds, for example, started a #McDStories campaign and as Forbes put it, the Hastag became a Bashtag.
However, majorly hashtags have been huge success among the masses on the social media.