I recently did a post that explained what Hashtags were, but since then I’ve been noticing a lot of hashtags on TV. Before I get too far into this, here is a link to UrbanDictionary (a site that has a lot of definitions of slang and internet jargon) specifically to the definition of hashtag.
I have seen them in commercials for products, ads for new shows, and even popping up at the top and bottom of movies that I was watching on cable channels. Seeing all these hashtags being promoted OUTSIDE of the Internet has got me thinking more about how receptive the mass media has been to the concept of hashtags, which were created for internal usage on the site Twitter. Facebook recently accepting hashtags is probably one reason that the mass media has picked them up recently, since they can measure mention of their hashtags within the Twitter and Facebook audiences at once.
This image shows a poster of hashtags intentionally started by CBS to promote their shows. The actress in the photo, Cristin Milioti, will be appearing in the show How I Met Your Mother (abbreviated as HIMYM) and is therefore shown promoting the #HIMYM hashtag.
I came upon this image because I follow the HIMYM Facebook page, which published a post with this photo and a caption of “#HIMYM‘s final season begins NOW! Tune in toCBS for back to back episodes and follow along with The Mother herself, Cristin Milioti as she LIVE TWEETS! http://bit.ly/18wxcpa”
You can see it for yourself on Facebook.
Here are two articles about hashtags as a new advertising tool. The first is about how to us hashtags in marketing within Twitter, the second is about hashtags on Facebook. I also found an interesting interactive ad campaign from the UK that uses hashtags on Twitter.
Wait we’re talking about ads now? Doesn’t everyone try really hard to ignore ads on the Internet? That doesn’t seem like Internet culture- but hashtags came from Twitter, which is a major social media site and to see mainstream society, even advertisers who like to invest in more proven ventures, are accepting Twitter, Facebook, and the hashtag as normal mainstream things, is a relatively new trend in society. There are very few sites that everyone knows about and which are visited by almost every user. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Youtube, Amazon, Ebay, Google, Bing, IMBD, established newspaper/network sites and sites of established stores, are all considered to be ‘mainstream’ uses of the internet that most people recognize by name. This was far from the case in the 1990’s when only well known sites were messenger and email like AOL and MSN, which also speaks to the advancement of internet culture in the past almost-25 years. This new evolution of hashtag-usage will effect not only Internet Culture, but also Mainstream Culture, as the two become less and less distinguishable.
Good news everyone! Next time I will cover all the common Memes derived from the hit tv show Futurama.