Where hath the hashtag gone? Social media platforms are migrating to a new way to present content, and it all started with Snapchat’s revolutionary “Live Stories” that premiered last year. With its amazing success, other platforms are seeing the benefit to curated feeds that offer simply great content. Instagram is offering its version and focuses on providing quality curated content surrounding Events; its first such event was Halloween.
The Decline of Hashtags?
It’s not quite time to declare the death of the hashtag, but it is easy to say that its use may be in decline. This is especially true with most social media platforms moving to curated newsfeeds that provide content for consumers. Instead of having to find the right spelling, syntax or words mashed up in a hashtag; these mediums, including Instagram, are realizing that people want content served up on a platter.
It is much easier for a consumer to check in on an “Event” in Instagram and get the best content, like videos on Halloween, than trying to curate that content themselves. From Twitter’s Moments, Snapchat’s Live Stories, and Instagram’s new Events; the true quality content can rise to the top.
Remember when Google’s algorithm returned poor quality content because it was not based on relevance, or when it often returned content that was not even close to the search terms? With these new storylines being produced and curated, the content in these events are exactly as advertised. Instagram’s Halloween Event featured videos uploaded in direct relation to Halloween. It gives content a way to get noticed on a much larger scale if their content is chosen and included in the feed. So have these new curated feeds killed the hashtag?
Hashtag Lives for Now
Although the future of the hashtag may be uncertain, it sure lives today. Even though these feeds, like Instagram’s Events, are curated and stripped down to their base content, they usually still include hashtags in their posts. This allows people to still search for specifics within a major event such as Halloween.
Hashtags are also used by web power users to gather information, to curate these types of lists. They are still widely used by consumers as well for more in-depth topics, specific searches and outside these specific curated events or newsfeeds being produced.
However, over time as users come to rely on the curated lists or newsfeeds surrounding well known topics, issues, events, locations or items, it may change. Imagine a curated list of the best content such as video or pictures on “Jungle Cats” or “Easter Parades.” There are untold possibilities for the curation of online content, but with the ease of following these streams of content, they may well replace the hashtag.
However in the meantime, you may want to follow some of the trends of these special curated events in order to produce content for them, or even start your own Instagram Even if you are hosting a large event that will draw in large crowds. Either way, getting content in these new streams could provide great exposure for your company and products or services.