I have always been fascinated by how the hashtag became so popular on social media, especially Twitter. For most of my life the hashtag was nothing more then a number sign.
Then someone had the brilliant idea a few years ago of using the # as a metadata tag, a symbol which helps users find content of similar nature on social media sites. If a user places a # in front of a word or phrase, the word(s) becomes searchable.
As far as I know, the tech industry has been under the impression that the hashtag was the greatest marketing invention ever. Most major brands have been using hashtags for the last year or two to attract new customers.
Now, a story in Re/Code, a leading tech site, claims that the hashtag has not been performing as well as everyone thought. Twitter actually released a report that said certain types of ads featuring hashtags didn’t pull the audience originally expected.
The simple explanation: too many hashtags are becoming a distraction. A Twitter spokesperson said, “If you’re trying to join a conversation, you should absolutely use a hashtag. But if you want to attract customers, the less noise the better.”