What is a #Hashtag?

Oct 15, 2018

We brand everything up in the Social Progress Office.

What is a #hashtag?

What is a #hashtag?

Hashtags are used all over Social Media, it’s almost a sin not to use one now. Companies regularly create their own for their brand as well as advertising campaigns, so they  can gather momentum over time. They are usually keywords but can also be slogans and adding the # hashtag symbol before this allows for the associated image and text to be found quickly when searching such a crowded marketplace.

There are no set rules as to what a hashtag should be and how to use it, but we would advise keeping it short and sweet like our #TeamSoPro hashtag. The second key tip is not to overload your post with hashtags, Twitter recommends using two, whilst Instagram allows up to 30… it’s up to you whether you make use of that or not, but remember, you want to be seen and heard!

Make sure you use the right #hashtags!

You can now also follow hashtags on Instagram and LinkedIn, a feature that can allow you to keep up to date with your favourites and also monitor your own specific hashtags.

You might think you know what a #hashtag is now, but do you know where they came from?

Here are some top hashtag facts:

  1. Hashtag is now in the dictionary, since 2014 in fact! – “hashtag n. (on social media websites and applications) a word or phrase preceded by a hash and used to identify messages relating to a specific topic; (also) the hash symbol itself, when used in this way.”


  1. Twitter weren’t so keen on the idea at first, and it wasn’t even theirs! It was brought to them by a web marketer who used them to keep track of conversation. He came at a bad time: Co-founder Biz Stone was trying to get the software back online after a crash and dismissed the idea with a “Sure, we’ll get right on that” burn. Undeterred, Messina started using them and the habit caught on.


  1. They should actually be called Octothorpetags…but that is so uncool! Original keypads used to use 1-9 and the * and #. AT&T employee Don MacPherson thought the sign needed a more official name, so he chose Octothorpe—“octo” because it has eight points, and “thorpe” because he was a fan of football hero Jim Thorpe.


  1. The symbol itself was derived from Latin and actually people getting lazy when writing. Libra Pondo (pound in weight) was shorted to lb with a dash through to show they were joined together and they eventually morphed into #!


  1. Using a capital letter for each word within a hashtag actually helps visually impaired people understand better, as screen reading software can pick it up as separate words, and that probably goes for people with good sight too! Check out the Royal National Institute of Blind People’s tweet:

#nowthatcherisdead or #NowThatcherIsDead – what did you read?

Now you know more about hashtags, make sure you use them wisely!

Let us know your favourite hashtags below!