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Hashtag Backlash

Hashtag Backlash

By: Maia Rabenold

When former Google designer Chris Messina used the first social media hashtag on Twitter in 2007 as a way to categorise posts, Internet users everywhere rejoiced.

Hashtags seemed like amazing tools that allow you to quickly sift through the digital haystack, but now after the initial buzz has died down people are starting to stray away. Outside of using hashtags for big events, my Twitter feed has been strangely devoid of the little buggers lately, and on Instagram they are often hidden in the comments section. Why? Because hashtags seem kind of needy. They are usually used by people or brands who want to grow their following, digitally inserting themselves into conversations like a nosy neighbour peering over the hedge. And adding “#photography #fashion #portrait #style” to your photo probably isn’t going to give you more exposure anyway, because the categories are so general – prospective followers won’t find you even if they were looking through those cesspools of mediocrity. As for me, I never click on hashtags, because if you search for the word “photography,” you’ll come up with the same results as if you had clicked on #photography. It seems like hashtags have hit their saturation point and now the pendulum is finally swinging the other way, thankfully taking all those tiny scratch marks with it. They seem more than a bit desperate and clutter up your posts, so for me they can’t be gone fast enough.