Ten of the Best Hashtags for Ten Years on Twitter
Today is the 10th anniversary of the hashtag’s first appearance on Twitter.
Who’d have thought such a simple symbol, like a drunk noughts-and-crosses grid, could become such an influential part of our modern culture.
But there you have it.
It may have started as a neat little means for users to find posts about specific topics, but over the course of the last decade, it’s developed into a cultural behemoth. An icon of Twitter that rivals the little blue bird. A symbol that’s found its way into the streams of other social platforms: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn et al.
It’s even become a shorthand expression in the way we speak, text, and email.
And, while that still has the potential to be tremendously annoying, it certainly demonstrates the power that those four little lines now wield.
During the course of its decade long life on Twitter, the hashtag has had some memorable moments, a key player in the digital phenomenon of ‘going viral’. From raising awareness of causes to bringing people together in solidarity after tragedy, voicing outrage, or just having a bit of a laugh, there have been a huge number of hashtag trends that have delivered some of the more memorable moments in social media history.
So, to mark the tenth anniversary of the Twitter hashtag, here are ten of our personal favourites.
For the Love of Sean Bean
[SPOILERS: if you’re about to finally start watching Game of Thrones, or Lord of the Rings, you might want to skip to the next one]
Actor and professional Sheffield Utd fan (or maybe that’s the other way around?) Sean Bean has been in some of the most iconic film and TV series of all time. Rarely, however, does his character get to the end of the series without, well, dying.
All of which prompted US TV network TNT to launch the hashtag #DontKillSeanBean when it emerged he was due to appear in their new series Legends.
Not a bad way to jump on some popular cultural referencing to promote your new show, and maybe get a few GoT fans on board at the same time.
‘Scuse Me, While I Kiss This Guy
As someone who once thought KD Lang sang: “God Save Gravy” (Constant Craving), I confess that the hashtag #misheardlyrics is a personal favourite of mine.
Because of tweets like this:
With our head offices in the heart of Cardiff, it would be remiss of us not to mention the hashtag that united Welsh football fans through a glorious, and rather unexpected, run to the semi-finals of Euro 2016.
Of course, the real power of Twitter (and all other social media) has been its ability to unite people around the world in times of tragedy, such as the trending of the 'we are not afraid' tag following the tragic events in London, Nice, Paris, Manchester, and Barcelona (among others) of recent times.
This is just one example of the thousands of awareness style hashtags that float through the Twitter consciousness, be it about racial, religious, or sexual tolerance, to raising awareness of social, political or cultural issues. Social media is a broad canvas, and all topics seem to have found a place.
Throwback Thursday (#tbt)
This is an old and still globally popular twitter tag for those who feel that the penultimate day of the working week is the ideal occasion to indulge in a little nostalgia.
Expedia’s Cheeky Play
Social Media platforms such as Twitter can often be looked upon as vehicles to enhance our brands, or even promote our wares. But it’s the social aspect that remains at the core of why these channels are so ingrained into our lives, and sharing past memories is an activity in which we can all engage.
That didn't derail Expedia, however, with this clever bit of piggy-backing.
Using the popularity of the throwback trend, by introducing a version of their own, in #ThrowMeBack, Expedia asked their followers to post old holiday photos with the opportunity for 10 lucky ones to win a holiday back to the destination it was taken and try to recreate a modern day version of the pic.
While throwback Thursday has it’s loyal devotees, the grand-daddy of the regular weekly hashtags must surely be #FF a.k.a Follow Friday. The tag that encourages users to start following other Twitter members. And an always useful way for businesses to gain valuable endorsements and new followers to the account.
Pop Culture Bonanzas
Want to keep abreast of the latest theories about the goings on in Westeros? #GameofThrones is a continual source of impassioned debate concerning the land of dragons, rude bits, and the quest to sit on the most uncomfortable throne ever created. And one of the most trended TV hashtags of them all.
Come for the chatter, stay for the memes.
Of course, if you have something to say about the gender of your Time Lords, then #FemaleDoctor is likely to be more your cup of tea.
And finally, who can ever forget the Ice Bucket Challenge? Designed to raise awareness of the brain disease, (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or Motor Neurone Disease) this might be the most successful campaign of its kind ever on Twitter, starting out in Massachusetts and spreading across the world, as tens of thousands of us happily filmed ourselves pouring ice cold buckets of water over ourselves.
Just like Ant & Dec did.
Happy Birthday, Little Hashtag.
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