Monday, 15 December 2014

What is the point of a #Hashtag?

The hashtag has been around for a while now and lots of people use it in their statuses and photo captions - facebook, instagram and twitter posts often contain these little '#'s. But how many of you really know what the point of a #hashtag is?

  • To make up cool phrases such as #bestfriendsforever, #I'mDoingSomethingCool, #bestideaintheworld?
  • Used to add some #oomph to your picture captions/statuses/twitter feed?
    Not really.
  • To annoy people who prefer to read sentences that aren't littered with strange symbols?
    Surprisingly - nope, not that either. 
The point of a hashtag, my dear readers (and yes, there really is a point), is to allow you to add keywords, known as "tags" to whatever the hashtag is associated with, such as a facebook post, photograph, blog post etc. These tags are used by search engines when they crunch out their algorithms in order to bring you the most relevant information. When you then publish this thing and let it loose into the www, there are a few things that happen. 

In facebook/instagram/twitter, if you use hashtags, you will notice that they're click-able or searchable, or both. Click on a hashtag to see what others have been posting about that topic. If you can't find anything, it means no one has used that hashtag. 

You can create your "own" hashtag in order to keep track of things. I'm thinking of using these to keep track of my Practical Cookie blog posts.

Lastly, if you search for something on a search engine, and it has an associated hashtag, it will probably show up at some stage. It might not show up on the first page, but it will eventually!

So - use the hashtag to get found, discovered and find out what other people are associating to particular words!

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