Vicki from Decatur, AL writes:
I know this may be a stupid question but what is a hashtag?
Vicki, it’s not a stupid question at all. Hashtags are basically a filing system for finding certain subjects on social media. Hashtags start with the pound sign # and are usually a word or multiple words with no punctuation.
In many forms of social media such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, these hashtags turn into links that you can click or tap to see other posts on the subject.
For example, I took this photo of snow in the parking lot at WorldStart and posted it to Instagram with several hashtags.
When viewing the photo on Instagram, you can tap the #snow hashtag because it is an active link.
That will pull up other photos posted on Instagram with the #snow hashtag. It would take some time to look at all of them, as you can see there are over 35,000,000 posts with that hashtag.
I could choose another of the hashtags on that post. #snowledo is a hashtag that became popular last winter when Toledo experienced record snowfall. Tapping that hashtag will show images taken around the Toledo area.
Now that we’ve gone over the basics, in part 2 of this article, we’ll look at some of the ways people use hashtags.