Using hashtags has become the biggest dilemma of social media. Shall we use hashtags or not? How many hashtags should we use? Why we should use hashtags? More questions follow each other.
Hashtags were first introduced by Twitter to the social media world. However, if you have any knowledge on programming, you might remember the hashtag from the C programming language, but that’s a totally different topic.
The first hashtag was used on this Tweet, 23/08/2007:
how do you feel about using # (pound) for groups. As in #barcamp [msg]?
— Chris Messina, (“factoryjoe”), August 23, 2007
After Twitter became a part of our lives, during 2009, people started to use hashtags in their conversations on Twitter. Unfortunately, hashtag usage has become so wild people have started to write everything with #hashtags #to #get #more #attention #or #followers. The result? Poor quality!
In 2012, Twitter revised its search engine, and this removed the separation between terms with and without hashtags. After 2012, whether you type #fashion or fashion, it becomes the same word for Twitter’s search engine. Thus, when you search for fashion, you receive the results with fashion and #fashion. However, when you search for #fashion, you only receive the results with #fashion and the exposure becomes very limited. Using hashtags are still important but not as necessary as the old days of the Twitter.
If hashtags are not necessary, why people are using them?
There are always some exceptions. First, some people who are using social media are not updated with the revision made by Twitter. Second, in some conditions, you have to use a hashtag. If you are talking about the iPhone 7 and moaning about the removal of the classic headphone connector, you need to use #iPhone7 at end of your sentence, in case you didn’t use the word iPhone 7 inside your sentence. Another example can be seen on Volkswagen Diesel Gate. If you plan to express your thoughts about diesel gate and you do not use the words ‘diesel gate’, you need to use #vwdieselgate.
The hashtags enable emphasising the main topic of your sentence. It is not recommended to use more than three hashtags in a single tweet. Also, if you have already written fashion, you don’t need to add #fashion. Once more, #fashion and fashion are not different for Twitter’s search engine.
Are you using hashtags for Instagram and Facebook? That’s the topic of the next article. Before you go, you should know that every day there are more than 2 billion searches occurring on Twitter.