What is a Hashtag ?
It is a word or phrase that follows a pound sign (also known as a hash) and is used to identify specific posts on social media. A type of metadata, hashtags allow anyone to tag content on sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Hashtags help users more easily navigate posts and engage in larger online conversations.
They are user-generated, not created by social media sites. While companies can make and sponsor their own hashtags, the tags themselves are not owned by any one company — and anyone with access to the internet can create one. Public opinion and engagement are responsible for what become popular hashtags and what content gets tagged. Sometimes this mean the intended meaning of a hashtag is lost (as in the case of #McDStories), but at their core, hashtags are all about generating buzz and encouraging conversation.
How do you make a hashtag?
When it comes to creating them, there aren’t many rules as to what you can and can’t do, but some of the specifics depends on which platform you’re using. Sites such as Instagram have slightly stricter rules regarding hashtags than other social media sites, particularly regarding tags relating to drug use. Facebook also has strict rules about illegal activities, and actively searches for posts tagged with references to child abuse.
But in terms of specific requirements, a hashtag can be a lot of things. It can be funny or serious, and as long or short as you need it to be to get people engaging with your idea. The tag can contain letters, numbers, and underscores, and it isn’t case sensitive. It can not contain any spaces or punctuation, however (F$%K!). In certain situations, the use of embedded capitals (CamelCase) is used to eliminate confusion in meaning. So, whether you search for #hamilton, #Hamilton, or #HaMiLtOn, you’re still going to be able to find posts related to the hit Broadway musical.
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