The modern day #hashtag has a very different usage and meaning in todays modern world, as oppose to how it has traditionally been used in the past. In 1970, the hash symbol was used to denote immediate address mode in the assembly language of the PDP-11. The hashtag also began to appear on IRC chats and groups, to label conversations and group types.
From July 2009, Twitter began to hyperlink all hashtags in tweets to Twitter search results for the hashtagged word.
Definition: "The # symbol, called a hashtag, is used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet. It was created organically by Twitter users as a way to categorize messages." - Twitter
Hashtags are part of our daily way - you see them on billboards, TV adverts, packaging, flyers and even clothing, and can be seen in use by the biggest brand names across all industries, from manufacturing to fashion, from gadget to medical groups. You will find some examples listed below. In todays social media, the hashtag is one of the most powerful tools around. This fantastic infographic demonstrates "The Power of the #Hashtag":
The biggest annual advertising opportunity could be seen as the American Super Bowl of 2014 (#SuperBowl). The Super Bowl was expected to air to a never seen before number of viewers, breaking the mark of 111.3 million viewers that watched Super Bowl set in 2012. Some fantastic examples from this year's event:
- Hyundai #nicehashtag
- T-mobile #nocontract
- Bud Light #UpForWhatever
- Sonos #Sonos
- GoDaddy #LiveYourDream
- Jaguar #GoodToBeBad
- Microsoft #empowered
Social Network Usage
The hashtag is not restricted solely to Twitter. Facebook, Google+ and Instagram also allow you to tag your social update with a hashtag to allow a similar function to Twitter. Only publicly viewable status updates (dependant upon the users privacy setting) will be included in any search results. LinkedIn also took a brief interest in hashtags, but later backtracked on the idea, after including the ability to add a hashtag to an update. This function was later removed by LinkedIn, but remains strong in the likes of Twitter, Google+ and Facebook.
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Twitter has a phenomenal amount of 140 character updates every second of the day, so a method of organisation was essential to the its daily operations and visitor usability. Some of the most popular hashtags used to date include:
- #FF (FollowFriday)
You can see this for yourself, by visiting Twitter's search page here and search for one of the above. You will also notice Trends, which is a run-down by Twitter of the most currently active hashtags in use.
What is your favourite hashtag? Try it for yourself and join the conversation. Enjoy!