The power of the #hashtag

Manuella Haddad – Junior Account Executive at Spreckley

The hashtag. Simple. Universal. Iconic. It is without a doubt a sign of our digitised and data-driven times and part of the social media language. But how powerful is it?

In the last few years, it has become more than just a word or phrase that started on Twitter (the mother of all hashtagging social media platforms). It has evolved immensely into a versatile tool to tag and be able to track content, emphasise a point of view or encourage public support through a host of social media platforms. The hashtag is part our contemporary everyday language, alongside our Instagram uploads or within an everyday conversation.

When Facebook made an announcement that it would start to use and embrace hashtags in its search functionality, many of us cried “but why? What’s the point? This isn’t Twitter!” even though their use, though it was functionless at the time on the platform, it was already well known on the social network. Users who were not always entirely sure what a hashtag meant or the purpose of it, nor what the benefit of adding it on to a status update or shared link could possibly be.

Love them or hate them, hashtags have power and purpose, from social movements through to brand campaigns. The hashtag’s role and significance in today’s world mode of communication has had a great impact on culture that it has now forever changed how we each interact and connect with one another in codified ways on social platforms.