So bring it on #tags...


If you are a regular user of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, there is no way you would have missed the hashtag (#)! Nowadays, no sentence on any social networking site is complete without it.

For all those wondering what purpose a hashtag serves (other than the old-world numerical one), it turns words on posts into clickable links. So when people are looking for a word or term on a social networking site, they are able to find it easily when it is posted with a hashtag.

The craze for hashtag is so much that hashtag shaped potato fries have hit the markets in the United States too. Yet, the not-so-humble ‘#’ has had its fair share of critics too. While Hollywood stars Justin Timberlake, Jonah Hill, Martin Scorsese and Jimmy Fallon have been pointing out more than once how ridiculous the hashtag craze is, there are many who are concerned that hashtags add to the already existing clutter on the web. But what’s the harm in increasing your visibility and earning a few more followers, feels the tech-savvy Gen-Y! 

Cluttered but fun

#Pilith Pericho, final-year B.Com student, St Joseph’s College of Commerce, says, “When we create a Facebook page for our college fests, all we have to do is coin a term and ask the people to post that along with hashtags to gain publicity. There are so many easy and fun contests on the internet where you have to either use hashtags or take a selfie and you stand a chance to win things. But the downside is there are so many things online that you may not be able to find what you are looking for.”

Unfinished tales

#Ramona Joy Paul, a second PUC student, Bishop Cotton Women’s Christian College, says, “I regularly use hashtags. But though hashtags highlight what you are looking for, if you use too many of them in a post, you may not be able to finish your sentence as the space on social networking sites is limited.”

Easy search

#Sharmada MV, a final-year B.Sc student, Bishop Cotton Women’s Christian College, says, “It’s extremely easy to find what you are looking for when people put a hashtag before a word. Instead of searching on engines like Yahoo and Google, which have so much of information, one can find like-minded people easily on social networking sites thanks to hashtags.”

Incredible on Instagram

#Sanjay Stevens, a second-year B.Com student, St Joseph’s College of Commerce, says , “Though its usage started on Twitter and went on to Facebook, I feel hashtag is the best on Instagram, which has millions of photos. If I’m looking for a particular photo, I don’t have to browse through unwanted photos. It makes our work easier.”

No thanks

#Sujith Kumar, a final-year BA student, St Joseph’s College of Arts & Science, says, “I don’t use hashtags that much in my posts. I actually didn’t know much about them for a long time. It was only when my friends started using them that I learnt what they were.”

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