In this short-form episode, we look at how hashtags have evolved over time and what’s next. Proposed by Chris Messina in 2007 for use on Twitter, hashtags were initially meant to categorize and connect conversations on social media platforms. However, in articles published on Medium in recent months, Messina explains his belief that hashtags have become a tool for spam and abuse, manipulated by algorithms to promote content. He suggests that it may be time for a change in how hashtags are used.
Neville outlines Messina’s six ideas and the potential future for a tool that has underpinned much utility and value for 16 years in how people connect topics, conversations, and other people on social networks, not only on Twitter.
Links from this report:
- Chris Messina Wikipedia page
- The problem with the problems with hashtags – August 13, 2023
- Hashtags in the Sky – June 27, 2023
The next monthly, long-form episode of FIR will drop on Monday, October 2 (but it will be the September episode).
We host a Communicators Zoom Chat each Thursday at 1 p.m. ET. For credentials needed to participate, contact Shel or Neville directly, request the credentials in our Facebook group, or email email@example.com.
Special thanks to Jay Moonah for the opening and closing music.
You can find the stories from which Shel’s FIR content is selected at Shel’s Link Blog. Shel has started a metaverse-focused Flipboard magazine. You can catch up with both co-hosts on Neville’s blog and Shel’s blog. Neville’s Asides blog is also available.