Here’s How to Use Hashtags!

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More than a thousand words have been added to the dictionary last year alone and thousands more have been added over the past few decades, all thanks to social media; but few are as popular, widely used and accepted as the ‘hashtag’.

It has existed for a long time earlier too and was known simply as the ‘pound’ (#) symbol. Yup, the one you use in some online transactions. While initially, hashtags were made popular by Twitter, they are everywhere now and are used on major social networks, including Facebook and Instagram.

Let us explore what a hashtag really is, what makes them so immensely great, and of course how they work on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram and how you should use them!

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What is a ‘hashtag’?
A hashtag is simply a keyword phrase, spelled out without spaces, with a pound sign (#) in front of it. For example, #ThrowbackThursday or #LyricalWednesday are both hashtags. You can use these hashtags anywhere and everywhere in your social media posts; in the beginning, anywhere in between or at the end.

What does a ‘hashtag’ do?
Well, it’s plain and simple. The way the backend of each social platform works is that these hashtags tie conversations from all different users into one single stream and which are easily accessible when you search for a hashtag, clicking on one, or by using a third-party monitoring tool. The post has to be public in order for it to appear in anyone’s search.

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What makes hashtags so great?
In 2007 hashtags were a brand new concept and what makes it still great is that the ‘channel’ concept of hashtags satisfies many of the things group discussions do. They are easily accessible with the syntax on social media networks, easy to learn, flexible and work with user behaviours and work on phones (unlike the star key).

The hashtag continues to thrive and are a great way for anyone to make their posts visible and at the same time increase engagement while connecting posts and images together. The important thing is to use hashtags carefully and only when you think they add value. If you use them too much they can be confusing.

So, how many is too many? How long should they be? Where should you use them? And perhaps most importantly, why should you use them? Read on and learn more about how to use them on three different platforms; Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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How it works on Twitter
A hashtag here helps tie up the conversations of any number of different users into one stream. Even if users who are not connected to one another, talk about the same topic using a specific hashtag then their tweets will appear in the same stream.

How to use hashtags on Twitter
Whether you want to start a new conversation or get involved in an existing one, use a hashtag and publish the tweet from a public account that includes the hashtag.

How to find hashtags on Twitter
If you know the hashtag you want to search for, there are four main ways to search for it; a simple search, an advanced search, monitoring using a third-party tool or by simply typing it directly into the URL.

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How do hashtags work on Facebook
Similar to the Twitter platform, a Facebook hashtag ties the conversations of different users into one stream. The only difference here is that unlike Twitter and Instagram, where many people have public accounts and their posts can be seen by anyone, most Facebook posts and accounts are private. If the posts are private then even if individuals are using hashtags, they are not searchable.

How to use hashtags on Facebook
All you have to do is publish a Facebook post to your page or timeline that includes the hashtag. But before that be sure that your post is public if you want people other than your Facebook friends to find it. To make a Facebook post public, click on the button to the right of ‘Post’ and choose ‘Public’ from the dropdown menu and once you publish the post, the hashtag becomes a clickable link, which leads to the hashtag page.

How to find hashtags on Facebook
If you already know the hashtag you want to search for, there are two main ways to search for it; a simple search or by typing it directly into the URL.

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How hashtags work on Instagram
An Instagram hashtag also ties the conversations of different users into one stream, just like Twitter and Facebook. If Instagram users who are not otherwise connected to one another talk about the same topic using a specific hashtag, their posts will appear in the same stream.

How to use hashtags on Instagram
If you want to get involved in the conversation or start your own, use a hashtag and publish it from a public account that includes the hashtag.

How to find hashtags on Instagram
The only way to search for a hashtag is through a simple search. You can do a simple search and toggle your results by ‘Tags’.

Did you know? While hashtags did not actually get popular (with the help of Twitter) until after 2007, they were actually first used during the late 90s to categorize items into groups on IRC (Internet Relay Chat).

Hashtag #ExplainAFilmPlotBadly !

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Twitter never fails to give us gems of entertainment every once in a while! This week’s gem, aka the hashtag, #ExplainAFilmPlotBadly is no exception. Its concept is simple: take any film, and distort its plot to such an extent that the outcome is hilarious, yet remains accurate when thought about the movie. We have rounded up the best tweets that we found on twitter, that bring out the hysterical truths behind our favourite films!

1. Harry Potter

2. The Hunger Games

3. Big Hero 6

4.  Goliyon Ki Raaslela: Ram-Leela

5. The Little Mermaid

6. Monsters Inc.

7. Star Wars

8. Shrek

9. Mulan

10. Batman

11. Les Miserables

12.  Spiderman

13. Edge of Tomorrow

14. Sholay

15. Avatar

Why Arnab Goswami is still India’s No 1 newsman

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Arnab Goswami

The past few years the one topic or rather, the one man who has taken over the internet and hijacked dinner table conversations is undoubtedly, Arnab Goswami.

India’s most-popular anchor shares an intense love-hate relationship with Indian news viewers. Every night, sharp at 9, millions of viewers across the country tune into Times Now, to catch the latest debate on The Newshour, anchored by India’s most prolific news man.

High decibel levels, eye-watering graphics and a screaming match between guests and anchor has come now to characterize India’s most-watched debates. The past few months have been tough on the Editor-in-chief of Times Now. There has been much outrage among viewers over what they call ‘derogatory hashtags’ promoted by the channel on twitter.

It all started with India’s loss to Australia in the semi-finals of the Cricket Work Cup, 2015. The channel began promoting the hashtag, ‘#shamedatSydney’ to incite a debate on what they termed, India’s “shameful loss”. Ever the man to demand accountability in the name of the nation, this time, the move backfired. A cricket crazy nation stood for its heroes and very soon ‘#ShameonTimesNow’ began to trend.

But that’s the mood of the country now. Back in 2007, Times Now beat all news channels in the TRP race. Thanks to Arnab’s candid demeanour of hosting The Newshour.

Arnab began to promote ‘journalism of accountability’. Sentences like ‘The Nation wants to know’, ‘It’s an outrage’, made people sit and take note. As Arnab spoke, people gathered around their TV sets, nodding in agreement. They held on to every word he said.

It was as if Arnab was addressing them directly, in a voice that said “I’m one among you. I know how you feel. I will speak for you”. Never in their lives did they encounter a newsman grilling netas, demanding answers to questions that plagued the middle class. Arnab became the messiah of the middle class. He took politicians head-on and exposed their hypocrisy.

While other news channels adopted a more sober approach to visiting guests on their channel, they often missed out on asking tough questions. Arnab didn’t. He was blunt, did his homework well and wouldn’t let the interviewee get dodgy. There have been many instances in the past when Arnab publicly reprimanded the keepers of the law.

So, when Abhijit Mukherjee, MP and son of President Pranab Mukherjee called the rape protestors ‘painted and dented women’, it was left to an outraged Arnab to school him on behalf of the nation. The Abhijit Mukherjee ‘takedown’ has now become stuff of legends. It has spawned many a meme and even a mashup!

Critics however have taken an acrid view of the “Goswami style of interrogation”. They call his shows “loud”, “uncouth”, “less debate more shouting” and more. Some have even gone to the extent of christening the news anchor ‘meglomaniac’. What India loved and championed, now seems to be just a jarring note.

The outrage on display, appears manufactured, the hollowness of which is evident in live tweets. India’s once-favourite anchor now seems aggressive and extremely opinionated. Often his shows display a sense of lynch-mob mentality.

But that’s about the fall in quality of his show. The fact remains that Times Now is still the most-watched news channel on Indian television and Arnab’s still the man who commands a huge fan following. If anything, Arnab has become a pop culture icon today. He has inspired memes, remixes, mashups, songs and more.

Despite what critics say, he captures the imagination of India – a nation that loves its news and finds entertainment in his unique one-lines that have by now acquired cult status.