The HASHTAG Phenomenon

The Hashtag Phenomenon. The hashtag(#) has morphed into a global symbol that links different communities together through the use of a single word or phrase. Once upon a time, hashtag(#) was but a mere pound sign or hash found on phones. But then came Twitter and turned this mundane sign into an online sensation. Today, whether you are on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, YouTube or Facebook, you simply cannot escape the all encompassing presence of the hashtag(#).

The Hashtag Phenomenon

Chris Messina, co-founder of Citizen Agency for Twitter, former Google employee who worked in developer relations and as a designer on Google+, was first to introduce the hashtag(#) to social media. He’s been officially credited as the first person who tweeted using a hashtag. This famous tweet happened back in 2007, so it took awhile for the practice to catch on, it is now used in almost all other social media.

A hashtag is a keyword or a phrase used to describe a topic or a theme, it automatically becomes a clickable link when you tweet it. Anyone who sees the hashtag can click on it and be brought to a page featuring the feed of all the most recent tweets that contain that particular hashtag. Twitter users put hashtags in their tweets to categorize them in a way that makes it easy for other users to find and follow tweets about a specific topic or theme. To create a hashtag, you have to put the pound sign (#) before the word or phrase and avoid using any spaces or punctuation (even if you’re using multiple words in a phrase).

The Hashtag Phenomenon

Hashtags have the power to not only connect different audiences but to drive engagement and brand awareness to a whole new level. A hashtag is incredibly valuable because it can expose your content to a wider audience on social networks. It helps one get found. Use hashtags where you have a presence on, but don’t go overboard. Too many hashtags can hurt your engagement and can get you unfollowed. However, love them or hate them, they’re an integral part of using social media especially being simply way to search for topical content.

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