2013: The Year of the #Hashtag

blurred lines

Did you know that concept of the “hashtag” existed way before the existence of Twitter?

A “channel” is a term used to communicate with multiple people within an IRC (Internet Relay Chat) session, which are basically like chatrooms. To indicate a channel, the pre-fix “#” is used, and this symbol would collectively group and categorize topics within IRC networks. Complicated? Maybe. Luckily for us, this idea of grouping topics because much simpler with “The Hashtag”. Although Twitter was founded in 2006, the hashtag wasn’t introduced until 2007 (see tweet below), and did gain popularity until 2009. In 2010, trending topics were introduced, and it’s been history since then.

Chris-Messina-inventing-the-hashtag

So why am I claiming that 2013 is the year of the hashtag, even though it’s been out for so long you may ask…?

Well, bottom line, it’s gone mainstream. I feel as if once my Mom knows what a hashtag is, it’s mainstream. It’s on every news station, every television series, every billboard, every movie has one, every event you go to has one, and if you don’t have one, you’re missing out. Also this is the year that Facebook latched on. Although the Facebook hashtag has yet to prove useful or successful, it was news worthy. Other websites such as Pinterest, Google+, Tumblr, LinkedIn and of course Instagram and more have adopted the hashtag. All of these big web players make it easy to share and discuss these #topics.

To make matters worse, people are starting to talk in hashtags too… #ThisCanBeAnnoying – #ButAlsoPrettyFunny! Some people are sick of them, and some people refuse to hashtag anything now, but they’re still everywhere, and they aren’t going away anytime soon. #SorryNotSorry

instagram-hashtag

Later this week I’ll be revisiting the hashtag to discuss what hashtags can do for you, your business and in media. I would also like to visit some of the best hashtags used in advertising/marketing since it’s creation. Stay tuned!

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2 thoughts on “2013: The Year of the #Hashtag

  1. This post definitely made me giggle a bit. I completely understand knowing this is the year of the hashtag because your mom knows what it is. It warmed my heart the first time my dad asked me what the “brackety things” were on Facebook posts. As much as I enjoy a clever hashtag, unless they are indicating a trend or promoting a brand or event such as on Twitter and Instagram, which actually supports an objective, hashtags should not clutter up social media. Like you said, hashtags have no use or success on Facebook, so why are they there?

    • Thanks for the comment!

      “Clutter” is a great word, because that’s exactly what it does. I can completely understand that people have the urge to get out there and be seen in an online world where it’s very easy to be overlooked, but is the overuse of hashtags the right way to do it? Is great content not enough to get you noticed these days? I’ve stumbled upon plenty of Instagram users trying to build their personal brand, and the amount of hashtags they use is insane! It will get you noticed, but unfortunately it also makes you look #instadesperate.

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