When something happens in the world, it happens on Twitter. And sometimes, when a humble hashtag starts to trend on Twitter, a conversation follows all over the world.

On 23 August 2007, Twitter user Chris Messina Tweeted a suggestion to use the # symbol to group conversations on the platform. Now on the 13th year since its creation, August 23 marks the #HashtagDay and celebrates how it helps Twitter users be heard by millions.

Hashtags play a role in helping and amplifying important conversations that shaped or changed cultures. In the Philippines, hashtags help Filipinos raise their voice and improve their experience on the platform.

In celebration of #HashtagDay, here are three things how hashtag rules in the Philippines from January to July 2020:

⦁ Hashtags show the power of communities

Whether it is about entertainment, current issues, or online movements, using hashtags help Twitter users easily find the information they are looking for. It also allows them to connect and interact with communities, thus helping them to create and deepen connections with anyone around the world.

Perfect example would be the rising stars SB19 (@SB19Official), who continues to make waves both on Twitter and the OPM scene thanks to A’TIN who fervently showed their support in every project and activity of the group such as the recent Twitter Q&A session and occasional menpas (mention parties) on the platform. In fact, 4 out of 10 top hashtags in the Philippines from January to July 2020 were about them and #SB19 sits on the throne as the top hashtag above them all.

⦁ The # symbol got people talking

Since most of what’s trending nowadays begins with a hashtag, it seems that it also became part of our daily conversations and speech. Be it a grand event like the first-ever full livestream of #MYXAwards2020, joining an artwork challenge like #SigawDarna, or a simple Tweet about your latest hobbies or #quaranthings; there’s always a hashtag that can help users discover new information and invite them to share their thoughts on Twitter.

⦁ A way to stay informed

A lot has been happening lately, and Filipinos need to stay-up-to-date with the latest information about #COVID-19, guidelines, and other local news. From keeping up with updates from government officials or the media, to sharing the latest in mask fashion and other sentiments of how others are coping up at home, Filipinos use Twitter to stay connected through it all. Pandemic related hashtags such as #coronavirus, #StayHome, and #SafeHands are also handy hashtags to get real-time updates and information about the pandemic.

How to use hashtags

To use the hashtag, just use the # symbol before a relevant keyword or phrase (no spaces) in your Tweet. If you want to create your own hashtag, here are some practical do’s and don’ts to make it right:

Do
⦁ Make it short, distinct, and easy to remember. Avoid typos to make your Tweet discoverable.
⦁ Think of witty or relatable hashtags to give people a reason to use and respond to it.
⦁ Consistently use your hashtag as you Tweet for recall and to increase its visibility and exposure.
⦁ Ask your friends and followers to use your hashtag.

Don’t
⦁ Over-hashtag. One to two relevant hashtags per Tweet is enough. Remember: character count matters.
⦁ Use all CAPS. Unless it’s an acronym, this feels like shouting and also affects readability.

Hashtags can occur anywhere in the Tweet – at the beginning, middle, or end. Words of wisdom: remember to only use hashtags in Tweets relevant to the topic and don’t #spam #with #hashtags or overuse the # in a single Tweet. Happy #HashtagDay!

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