As a hashtag, a word or a word chain is designated, which is preceded by a diamond symbol, ie a double cross (#). A hashtag is used to communicate within social networks, such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. Users of these networks can add words with the rhombus (eg #wordgroup), making them clickable for other users. Clicking on such a hashtag would then lead to an overview page, which then bundles all messages in chronological order, which were provided with ebendiesem hashtag by users. This form of indexing is carried out within a flow text, as in the sentence “My life is wonderful.” A click on the hashtag #Leben would lead to an overview page, which contains all messages that were provided with ebendiesem hashtag.
The term is formed from the English noun hash for the double-cross character (#), for which the term “rhombus” is also common, as well as the English word tag, which can be translated with marking. Consequently, this is literally a double-crossed marking. And actually this translation describes the actual function quite well: Words or also word chains are provided with a diamond and henceforth serve as clickable links, in order to search the respective network for exactly this mark. They thus become meta tags for all hashtags of this type.
Basically, such hashtags are used to search the respective network for the selected term and to write about the same topic by using it with other users. For example, several users could use the Hashtag #Bundestagswahl and thus indirectly connect with each other on the now linked overview page. Above all, in the case of major media events, extraordinary floods are created as many users comment on the event.
However, hashtags are also used to put a message in a certain context, without explicitly referring to the tagged content. Thus, the sentence: “At last, at home,” the last night at home, “was not designed primarily to participate in the discussion on the terms broken, ending in celebration, and tired selected attributes. On the respective overview pages, however, the message would still appear and would be available for other users.
Hashtags in the social networks
Such markings have been known mainly through the so-called social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Co. Here it is mainly the microblogging service – the name comes from the fact that only 140 characters per message are allowed – Twitter, too when the latter did not invented the marking via diamond signs, which made the term popular.
Most social networks allow their users to set such marikings via the rhombic sign, which can be placed directly before any word, and thus categorize and tag the messages sent. In this case, each term, which is directly provided with the double cross, ie a hash character, is also tagged and thus also clickable.
Before this method prevailed in 2009, there were other tagging methods used in chats, websites, or social networks. However, the tagging of words in the immediate flow-text and thus from the actual message proved to be particularly suitable, became established and was subsequently implemented as a function in almost all networks.
The Twitter short news service launched the clickable hashtags in July 2009, the Google+ network withdrew in 2011, after which the hashtag in February 2013 the business network LinkedIn and in June 2013 the network Facebook reached and implemented. The Bilder networks Pinterest as well as Instagram also use this possibility of cueing, whereby users can categorize the images they load into the network and find images with the same mark.
Live example via Twitter (#Leben)
As already described, the use of such tags allows the exchange in the social networks on a particular topic. If the respective word is currently popular in the social channels, new messages may arrive in the second phase. For less popular word sequences, the respective surveys remain almost empty for months.
Thus it is up to the users of a network, which favors words and which will never happen. To illustrate this in a concrete example, you will find an overview below, which shows in real time which messages were sent to the hashtag #Leben in the microblogging service Twitter. You can follow this live – if you send a tweet (message on Twitter) containing the string #Leben, your message will appear in the following overview:
Origin of the hashtag
Already the text-based chat system IRC, which allows conversations with an arbitrary number of participants in so-called channels (channels) and was already transferred to the Internet in 1988, used the diamond symbol to mark the different channels. For example, a channel name could look like #help or # play.
The idea that individual groups of conversations or even thematic surveys are marked with a double cross is already a few decades old. However, it was the lawyer and Internet activist Chris Messina, who on August 23, 2007 on Twitter the following tweet settled and thus contributed to the birth of the later hashtags, as it is understood today:
how do you feel about using # (pound) for groups. As in #barcamp [msg]
Translation: What do you think of using a # (diamond) for groups. For example #barcamp [message]?
The above tweet can therefore be regarded as a stumbling block. From now on, individual words with a hashtag were added and so could be found over the Twittersuche. So, for example, if you typed into the search mask of the network # game, all the messages that matched the noun game with the rhombus could be searched for a specific topic.
Twitter reacted about two years after Messina’s suggestion, automating the process, and since July 1, 2009, all strings containing no special characters and spaces were clickable and started a search for all the tweets that used this hashtag in descending order chronological order in an overview (Note: The original Tweet of Chris Messina is still visible, see: twitter.com) .Chris Messina suggests via Tweet to use hashtags
Hashtags and trends
In most networks it is possible to see which ishtags are currently used by the users. In this context, one speaks of the fact that a theme is used. Consequently, it is possible to see which content and topics are currently enormously popular and are increasingly discussed in the respective countries, regions or groups.
For example, the short news service Twitter already shows which topics are currently running, which makes conclusions about current topics and events possible. Particularly in the case of major media events, mostly via hashtag, this is written by numerous users. In some cases, even faster and more up-to-date information on any subject can be gained, even if these are, of course, not examined by the editorial board and can be critically assessed and questioned.
One way to see the latest trends is the website trendsmap.com. Here the hashtags, which are currently being used worldwide via Twitter, are shown live and can be viewed for every city, every place and region. The service has been continually developed and updated since 2009.
Short overview: The most important part of the term at a glance
Hash tag is the combination of word or word chain and diamond. Such a hashtag is used to communicate within social networks, such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc., and is clickable. If you click on a hurried word, you will get an overview that will bundle all the messages that are marked with the selected word.
For decades it has been customary to characterize certain groups or even call channels by means of rhombic signs. However, it was probably the microblogging service Twitter, which made the use of the character significantly preeminent and popular, so that soon numerous other networks implemented the function.
If a large number of users use a particular hashtag at the same time, trends can be seen, especially in the case of major media events and catastrophes. In events, a certain combination is often given, which should be used to exchange it, in order to combine as many votes as possible and to appear in the trends of a country through this bundling and thus to gain further attention.
Note: To tag words, it is necessary that these are immediately behind the diamond symbol. Some networks also suggest that there are no spaces or special characters in the hashtag. In this sense: have fun with the #