Hashtags are the most famous tool in twitter. Hashtags are used by people to trend a popular topic that is to be spread among a certain group of people. The hashtag trend is prevalent for various issues; whether to advocate the problem of climate change or to appreciate their favourite celebrity.
The feature of hashtags was brought into twitter by Chris Messina on August 23, 2007. Ever since the hashtags have dominated the social media platform Twitter. It has spread from Twitter to Facebook, Instagram and other social media and the users have been established irremovably in all of them. The introduction of the hashtag was a revolutionary change among the people on twitter.
Twitter hashtags trend for good reasons and gain popularity. In the following headings, the topics like, why and how would a hashtag trend popularly, the genres of the popular hashtag, top trending hashtags, features of a popular hashtag, recommended hashtags, hashtag trend fails shall be covered. Read ahead, to have complete knowledge of hashtags.
Popular Hashtag Culture in twitter
The symbol for the hashtag is # sign without any space between the words. If the words are very short and cannot be recognized without space, a _ space sign can be used to create the hashtag. For example, #reach_out can have spaces but #teachforindia does not need space. Reach out can be parted and read. It is also permitted to use Capital letters for identifying the beginning of each word. For example #TeachForIndia is more understandable than #teachforindia.
Common mistakes are made if hashtags are misunderstood. Hashtags have been used by people since then. Tweets are posted with hashtags inevitably. More than 40 % of the tweets in twitter contain a popular hashtag.
It is important to have a healthy message for a hashtag. There must be a good reason for it to become popular. The potential for generating trend is hidden in every hashtag if you get it right. People who create popular hashtags have become instant celebrities for some time. At times, it is a never-ending mystery for people to know who created the famous hashtag. To trace back a hashtag, one has to go search for the original hashtag, which is almost impossible among the 330 million users in twitter. At first, twitter used worldwide trends, but as of now, worldwide trends have been localized to be more specific among the users.
Most of the people in the world would wake up to a trending, popular hashtag on twitter. It is almost, as if, the twitter providing their morning news feed. When a lot of people are dependent on Twitter, for daily usage, the application is responsible for being reliable.
The hashtags acquire a vital role in shaping access in the media. The hashtags become popular after it is tweeted by a lot of people.
Why would a hashtag trend become popular?
Hashtag trends become popular for many reasons. It is trended for some serious reasons. The serious reasons include political issues, general welfare, health and fitness, justice, world funds, country’s management, negotiation between leaders, technological advances, bio-medical advances, environmental care, gender empowerment, the entertainment industry and activist’s concern. These topics are refreshed and supported by twitter as long as they follow the community guidelines.
The trending of the tweet and its popularity does not totally depend on the person. Greta Thunberg, the environmental and climate change activist started out very young in twitter and became popular. You can become popular on twitter with just a reasonable hashtag.
The trends are sometimes even very silly. The most important serious tweets may be subjected to ridicule with hashtags. It is not to be misunderstood that one tweet can make a person popular. Even some silly trends rule twitter for a lot of reasons.
Sometimes, it might be only just for fun. Trolling a very infamous tweet by using hashtags is also very popular nowadays. It is acceptable by the twitter citizens as long it does not hurt the feelings of the respective people. The vulgarity of any popular hashtag will be removed by twitter guidelines.
In a few featured shows, a hashtag is popularized by the show hosts who advertise and ask for the audience to trend it. These hashtags, if it is favoured by the show audience, they become trending. Many popular hosts like, Ellen De Genres, Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, James Cordon have a separate section of their shows dedicated to hashtags.
Some hashtags are also popularized by the music artists who release a new album and want it to become popular. The hashtags are created according to the usage for the moment. As each hashtag is created, the trend is accepted and spread by the people who favour it.
How does a hashtag trend popularly?
Hashtag trends popularly as many people tweet it with a relevant message. The popularity of a hashtag is determined by the number of people who use it in their locality. The different genres of hashtags trend for different reasons. So what makes a hashtag, even the silliest ones become popular?
The simplest answer is that it is purely by luck and chance. A very famous hashtag may become a huge flop but a very absurd hashtag may trend in a matter of minutes. The popularity of a hashtag is not determined by the artificial intelligence of twitter. It is purely determined by the people who decide whether they want to trend it or not.
The trends locally lie within the knowledge of the people who live there. Twitter supports about 33 languages. The local languages, although they gain the favour of the native people, it does not last long. Emoticons and English are the two most prominent ways of language for a tweet to become famous.
Generally, 1500 to 2000 tweets in a locality or a country bring a hashtag into a legendary one. The trend is supported by twitter itself if it raises voice against a common topic rather than a personal issue. Some hashtags are chosen by twitter and it shall be promoted until the problem is resolved. That’s how some hashtags become notable in the trends.
Hashtags, which are supported by famous people, becomes a hit instantly. The #fitness challenge and the #ice bucket challenge reached the peak of fame when celebrities took part in it. The nomination for the challenges with the hashtag is an important reason for it to trend. Seeing their celebrities participate in the activities, the hashtag becomes popular among the followers of the celebrity.
How to make your hashtag popular?
Some tips and tricks can be used to make a hashtag popular. As said before, understanding the twitter algorithm is the easiest way to make a hashtag popular. The Twitter algorithm is not managed by people sitting before the computers, monitoring the usage of words. Management of twitter algorithm is overseen by a shapeless, matter less, coded and computerized artificial intelligence. The way of the algorithm is a lot simpler than understanding a human mind.
There are some features for a hashtag that has to be followed to make it trending. The first way to make your hashtag popular is to choose some quality content, something that is worth trending. The hashtag must not contain negative or confusing words. The content should be simple enough to be understood by all sections of twitter users. Complications in using a hashtag will result in the hashtag travelling down the trend line.
The target audience should be selected before trending any hashtag to make it popular. More than 70% of twitter users are aged between 30 and 60 years. An eye-catching current issue will result in the popularity of the hashtag. It must be concerning all ages and should be suitable for discussion in a family. Any other issue will not be welcome among all the family members, thus leaving it meaningless.
The hashtags tweeted with a current issue on a global or local level gains popularity massively. The famous hashtag trends are supported by people. The most common trend of the hashtag is more than 50% of justice for a certain cause. The luck and chance can be tackled well if you understand the twitter algorithm properly.
Time and timing for a popular hashtag
The timing of the hashtag is also crucial if it has to be trending. Even a well-meant hashtag will turn into a hashtag for ridicule if the timing is not perfectly matched. Timing of the hashtag should not be outdated. Posting an outdated hashtag will give upon negative impression among the followers. For some everlasting hashtags, like #throw back Thursday or #thank god it’s Friday, the tweet should be on an appropriate date. Trending something on Monday with the hashtag of #throwback Thursday with a current picture is highly inappropriate.
Timing is different from time. The timing of the post and time of the post must go hand in hand to avoid any confusion. The timing must be appropriate. A tweet of the hashtag with a pun during a funeral will only test the patience of people.
People view the hashtags based on time as well. The most viewed hashtags are timed between, morning 08.00 A.M-10 A.M, afternoon 01.00 P.M -02.00 P.M, evening 06.00 PM -08.00 P.M and at night 10.00 P.M-11.00 P.M. (All local timings). These are the times where 155 million active users stay on twitter.
Engagement of people in twitter hashtag will depend on the popularity of the genres. There are infinite genres and still, new ones can be created. The genres would include health, lifestyle, food, jewellery, books, quotes, authors, love, relationships, psychology, entertainment, cooking, politics, nature, weather, environment, memes, religion, science, medicines, war, general relations, national welfare, music, criminology, law and society.
Challenges are also promoted by celebrities who find it interesting. Every hashtag belongs to some genre and it will be recommended to the user according to their preference. The genres that are engaged maximum draws attention from people, hence making the hashtag famous.
Proper hashtags must be tagged with suitable genres. You can also make a hashtag famous if you know under what circumstances you make it trending. A very enjoyable martial art tweet with a hashtag of cooking will not trend, obviously.
The famous genre of all the times in twitter is politics. All national and party leaders use twitter as a platform for official communication with other leaders. The engagement in politics is to be trodden carefully. One word, even unintentional, may lead to serious conflicts and can be used to sue as a piece of evidence in the court.
The word choice and hashtags must be used diplomatically in politics. The hashtags must be used carefully at all times in all genres. The wordings of a hashtag must be concise and meaningful. Lesser the words and more the meaning, the chances of trending are high for hashtags. For a popular hashtag, genres act like a guiding light.
Once the trend is observed, the artificial intelligence will pick up its pace and spread the hashtag to a number of users. The hashtag in some genres remains merely as a fad. After a period of time, the hashtag is forgotten and it fails to resurface although it is present in the right genre.
Some hashtags appear to the users feed because they had been following a topic regularly. This could be a periodical topic, like astrology. Hashtags that are tagged along with the tweets of the people who are followed also come under recommended hashtags. Basically, recommended hashtag appears as the artificial intelligence has identified it to be of personal interest of the individual.
The recommended hashtag can be followed or left as it is, depending on the individual decision. The recommended hashtags have more power to develop an interest and curiosity in a person than the already following hashtags. The popular recommended hashtag of all the time in astronomy, space physics as it only requires basic knowledge and piques the interest of the eternal state of the universe.
Caution is advised before exploring any recommended hashtags. Some might just be a scam. A popular scam, but nevertheless, it comes under scam. These are used by frauds to spy and obtain your information. A hashtag narrows down a person’s interest making them vulnerable in the social media platform. Private accounts in twitter are to be more cautious, as it will be a simpler target to know the natural interests of a person.
Recommended hashtags are preferred by people who are indifferent to the genres. They have huge popularity as they are already trending in some places. These hashtags work across the particular locality or a country. The interests and opinions of similar people are shared well through recommended hashtags.
It is worth giving a try by following a recommended hashtag. 30% of people learn on twitter just by using the recommended hashtag. This also causes FOMO among people. FOMO stands for Fear Of Missing Out. There are both positive and negative sides of a recommended hashtag. Tread cautiously before trying it out.
Most of the trending and popular hashtags are found to revolve around a few major genres in India. The major genres of India consist of politics, science, cinema and society. It is important to note that activists and NGO’s from India have worldwide recognition. Some of the influencers teach their ways and lead their most trusted followers into propagating trending hashtags.
One of the prominent religious and nature activists, Sadhguru Jakki Vasudev made the hashtag #rally for rivers (an initiative for linking the rivers across the country as the multi-dimensional project)and #Cauvery calling (an initiative to clean the river Cauvery that runs across the southern states of India) one of the most popular hashtags among the Indian citizens. His hashtags, spreading the message of nature, calling for help gained tremendous support regardless of religions.
Indians are naturally sentimental and loyal. They express their opinions through twitter and hashtags. The current prime minister of India, Sri Narendra Modi Ji has over fifty-three million followers and is the most followed person on twitter in India. The second most followed person is a cinema legend Mr Amitabh Bhachchan. Shah Rukh Kahn, Salman Khan and Virat Kohli have the following positions respectively. This proves the popularity of politics, cinema and cricket in the country.
The latest hashtag that the prime minister has posted in twitter is #India fights Corona. All the citizens of India are aware of the effects of the Corona Virus. Twitter hashtags play a crucial role in educating them. Another initiative by Times of India #Mask India announced a contest for its readers, asking them to trend the hashtag. The newspaper published the best pictures in the supplementary pages.
It wouldn’t suffice to say how much of good popular twitter hashtag is spreading in India. Indians use this as an interesting tool to educate themselves and learn various things with their sharp and keen mind
Just as the hashtag floats in popularity, sometimes, it fails horribly too. The major mistake that people do is not checking the timing or situation before posting a hashtag. The hashtag #nowthatchersdead was interpreted by many users in twitter as # now that Cher’s dead instead of # now thatcher’s dead referring to the famous Margret Thatcher. The hashtag was trolled and retweeted with twitter users paying respect to “Cher” instead of Thatcher.
Sensitive situations must be handled carefully. The typographic mistakes made by verified people in twitter is also heavily trolled and criticized. The word coverage was accidentally tweeted by the American president Mr Donald Trump as covfefe. In a few minutes, several hashtags popped up making the word covfefe famous. This subject persisted as fuel to the trolls until they were sued. Some misunderstood inappropriate hashtags also tend to become popular on twitter.
The bottom line of this hashtag trend
The word popular has two sides. Pro and Con. The popular could be the good kind, called famous. Or the popularity may end up on the wrong side earning the name notorious or infamous. Some popular and famous hashtag, for the current times, would include #stay safe and #fight against corona. After some time, they might lose popularity. After all the word popular is very unstable and can be changed through the times.
All good tweets will contain a hashtag in the future. Maybe, people will communicate only through hashtags in future. Even now the artists in twitter use short forms called #WIP that abbreviates as work in progress. The possibility exists in future that every word will be an acronym and will come with an emoticon and every tweet will become a hashtag. It is the responsibility of the netizens to stay wise and put hashtags into good use.