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#Hashtags: Facebook's missing link to pop culture

di TV News Laurinda MacMahon (2020-03-04)

id="article-body" class="row" section="article-body"> For sale on Etsy: A custom-made sign that encourages wedding guests to hash tag their Instagram shots. The Pink Lantern/Etsy Scan Twitter, Instagram, or Tumblr. Watch your favorite television show, or even listen to the radio, and you might notice that the biggest social network of them all is disconnected from pop culture -- at least when it comes to hash tags. Hash tags are a form of expression that Facebook, like your grandparents, just can't understand.

Nadeesha Hemamali Hot PhotosThe social network appears motivated to change that, although a spokesperson wouldn't share details on when and how it will roll out hash tags. However it shakes out, hash tags on Facebook are long overdue. Their presence could help Facebook lure young users -- something it struggles with -- and provide the missing link to so much that goes on across social media, from celeb gossip lanka and breaking news to advertising offers and goofy memes.

On Facebook, hash tags in status updates are dead text. People still use them, particularly those who cross-post updates from Twitter or Instagram, but the tags are disconnected from the topics, news, or memes they reference. #awkwardmoments #wwhl — Andy Cohen (@BravoAndy) May 22, 2013 "Hash tags are just like slang," said Jonah Berger, a social psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania. And, just like slang, people use them to show that they belong to the group that's in the know.

From geek to chic First used on Twitter in 2007, hash tags long ago crossed the geek chasm. Now, celebrities, teens, and everyone in between, use them for nuanced articulation. Brandi Glanville, a polarizing but popular cast member on Bravo's "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills," uses hash tags to punctuate text with personality in her book, "Drinking and Tweeting." Mariah Carey's new hit single "#Beautiful" is, itself, a hash tag. Check out the original cut of my brand new video #Beautiful ft.

Miguel!!! — Mariah Carey (@MariahCarey) May 10, 2013 You can blame, or thank, Chris Messina for making hash tags part of our modern vocabulary. Messina, now a Google employee, is the developer who first proposed that people use the pound sign to group conversations on Twitter. He borrowed the practice from Internet Relay Chat (IRC) networks, where people often used the # symbol to label groups and topics. Some Twitter users started using hash tags to associate tweets with groups, conferences, events, and discussions.

It took two years for Twitter, in July 2009, to hyperlink hash tags so that everyone could use them for quick searches, a move that took them beyond the geek set.