Hashtags is a tag with a # symbol in front of a keyword tag used primarily in grouping all related conversations on the subject in one place. Hashtag can be used to collect opinion from the public in the local neighborhood or worldwide. When you add a hash symbol in front of a keyword, it will automatically convert into it into a clickeable link.
In Twitter, the hashtags on a trending topic can be seen on the sidebar of your profile. Most social media users tend to use hashtags in their Twitter posts when they are on their mobile phones. This is according to statistic that claims over 70% of users use hashtag on mobile while the rest 30% use hashtag when they are on desktop or laptop. The study also shows that tweets that contain hashtags are 55% more likely to be retweeted. More than fifty percent of users would share the hashtag if they know it can help them to get discounts. The widespread use of hashtag is the reason why it was included in the Oxford English Dictionary in June 2014.
Hashtag is first used in Internet Relay Chat (IRC) around 1988 to organize various types of items including images, messages and videos. Hashtag was first introduced in Twitter by Chris Messina in August 2007. Hashtag allows people to get updated about what is going on especially for an important event. For the first time, hashtag is used to keep updated with #sandiegofire when there was a large wildfire in California at that time. Twitter has an important role when there was a civil unrest in Arab Spring. As a result, the hashtag #Bahrain became the hashtag that is most used in the social media world. The hashtag #worldcup2014 has been used to get people around the world to join in the conversation about the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Hashtag was formally adopted for use in Twitter in July 2009. Audi use hashtag to connect its customers to the Super Bowl commercial. Twitter publish the first TV commercial with hashtag in June 2012. By January 2013, almost 50% of the Super Bowl ads integrate a hashtag in their Twitter updates. Twitter organizes a IPO to demonstrate the power of using hashtag.
It takes some time for Facebook to incorporate the use of hashtag. Facebook started to use hashtag in June 2013. Like Twitter, Facebook will generate a unique URL for every new hashtag created. You can find a particular tag in Facebook by entering this into your browser address bar facebook.com/hashtag/uniquehashtag.
Pinterest is another social network that allows user sto use hashtag. Including hashtag in your pin allow people to find the photos you post when they click on the similar hashtag on the profile of another user. When you click on a hashtag in Pinterest, you will be redirected to pinterest.com/search/?q=hashtag.
Instagram also adopt the use of hashtag to allow its users to easily find the photos. If you use hashtag on your Instagram photos, they will be discoverable to the public. But if you want to keep your photos private, you should not use hashtag. To get the best result of hashtag on Instagram, you should use a unique set of hashtag for each photo. For example, Instagram use the hashtag #bluesky to tag a photo sharing service they offer so that users can easily find the photos that are tagged with sky. The hashtag #cannes2014 is used to tag images for the 2014 Cannes Film Festivals.
Google + 1
Google + has also make use of hashtag in October 2011. When you click a hashtag, it will return results of the original hashtag post as well as other hashtag posts that are tagged with similar hashtags.
In conclusion, hashtags can help you to get people talking about your brand. Hashtag is used by social media experts, educators, universities and companies worldwide to increase their followers and brand awareness. Before creating a hashtag, you can visit Hashtags.org to do research on hashtags that are suitable for your targeted audience. Flickr integrated the hashtag support into the iOS app. The advantage of hashtag is that it enables people who are interested in particular topic to get to know one another through joining in the conversation.