Today, hashtags are used in almost all other social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. Hashtags are widely used to define a shared context for specific events, topics, or meme (Ma et al, 2012). On most social media websites, a hashtag is translated into a clickable link that enables an easy search of tweets using the same hashtag (Suh et al, 2010). On Twitter, a frequently used hashtag amongst a large portion of its’ users could appear on the ‘trending topics’ sidebar on their website, which promotes a topic or term to an audience which extends far beyond the follower list of the person who used the hashtag. Landing on the ‘trending topics’ list is perceived as having influence or holding a status (Page, 2012).
Beyond being a bookmark for content, the hashtag serves as theScreen Shot 2016-04-05 at 11.19.51 symbol of a community (Yang et al, 2012). This virtual community is defined through the hashtag of users with the same background, the same interest, or involved in the same conversation or task.