Urban legend says…
For a long time, everybody thought it was just a Twitter thing. As Urban Dictionary explains, some believe the Twitter hashtag usage began when a broken plane luckily landed in the Hudson River in early 2009 and some Twitter user wrote a post and added #flight1549 to it. Urban legends are great fun, but we’re gonna stick to the known facts and try to answer the question – what is hashtag?
Contemporary dictionary says…
The popular usage of the hashtag is so widespread that the term was even added to the real dictionary as well, Oxford English Dictionary, in June this year. Basically, a hashtag is a word or phrase without any spacing and with the hash character (#) in front of it, together forming a label. It’s a type of metadata tag which is widely used on various networks such as Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr, Vine and even VK, as well as many others. So it’s definitely NOT just a Twitter thing, although it was first popularized by this specific social network.
The reason the hashtag is such a convenient little thing is the fact that it allows the grouping of similarly tagged messages and electronic searches of all messages containing that certain hashtag. Thus, a great number of people can communicate on the same topic, no matter if they know or follow each other on social networks or not. So, by clicking on a hashtag, you get to see all the tweets, posts or photos published containing that hashtag. Pretty neat, right?
Hashtag is already a part of some great social movements, causes and all other types of engagement that is performed on social media. You might remember great social media effects on the Gezi Park movement in Turkey. Hashtags were a part of that as well as a valuable member to the reform.
Naturally, by being such a convenient form of communication, the hashtag was soon discovered to have great commercial potential. It is now being widely used as a marketing tool within many social networks for commercial communication.
There’s even a website that tracks the world’s hashtags, www.hashtags.org where you can gain valuable social media insights, especially for your industry, keyword, event, business, product, service, conference or blog.
If you are an advanced user of hashtags, you should check these tips for making a
And if you are just starting to immerse yourself in the world of hashtags, you can check out this cool Mashable article about the basics of the hashtag.
So the next time someone asks you: What is hashtag? you will be fully backed up with just enough info to have the coolest hashtag swag around.
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