The Hashtag is Here to Stay

Remember when the hashtag was the pound sign? Or how about the number sign? Maybe you knew it as simply a tic tac toe board. Whatever that symbol was in your childhood, it’s definitely changed now. If you buy 50 Instagram likes, you might even find out how to use hashtags effectively.

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Nowadays, that symbol is a tag used on social networking sites like Twitter and Instagram. It helps to curate the data and works sort of like a search engine. If you looked for the hashtag buy 50 Instagram likes, you will find all sorts of tweets and pictures on that topic. You have to leave out the spaces though. Hashtags don’t work with symbols or spaces. Only use letters and numbers for them.

Users can create their own hashtags or use ones that are currently trending. All you have to do is put the number sign in front of your word or phrase. Once you hit the spacebar, the letters will turn into a blue hyperlink. Once you, or someone else, clicks on that hyperlink, you’ll be shown all the other posts that have used that particular hashtag.

Each hashtag creates its own archive which is collected into a single stream under that hashtag. Spelling counts too. So the hashtag #dog will yield different results to the one #dawg It’s important to be careful when using a hashtag. If you misspell a word, your post will get lost and no one will ever see.

Tagging your post with the popular hashtag #nofilter will put you in the same category as thousands of other people. Your post will pop up all over the place and everyone will have a chance to see it when they search that hashtag.

But if you allow your fingers to slip, and you accidentally type #nofiler you won’t be found by the audience you were targeting. Maybe people who want to look at fingernails that haven’t been filed in a while will see your post. Your tweet or photo will be sent to the dark spaces on the internet where reddit users and trolls tend to dwell.

It’s also important to be careful with your hashtags because you could inadvertently be violating the Terms of Service. Yes, that thing that no one reads actually has a section on hashtags. On Twitter, if you abuse hashtags and constantly use ones that are irrelevant to your content, your account can be suspended. If you continue to violate these terms, you can be banned. So stop tagging William Shatner in all of your gym pictures, okay? 

Hashtags have become a part of our culture in the last few years. It doesn’t seem like they are going away any time soon. We all might as well get used to it and learn how to use them. It will be interesting to see how the internet appropriates another one of our childhood symbols. What will be next? That big “S” that we used to draw on literally every smooth surface?