Earlier this week, Twitter celebrated the 14th anniversary of the hashtag, a day it otherwise called #HashtagDay.
The idea of the hashtag as a way to organize tweets and posts online was born on August 23, 2007, US time, when American blogger @chrismessina tweeted #barcamp. He asked Twitter users how they felt about using what was then more popularly known as the pound.
The concept was borrowed from IRC (internet relay chat) which was popular among tech-savvy users before the days of social media.
Messina campaigned for its use, with some adopters of the idea using it to make it easy to search for grouped content, growing from there. In a 2009 article, the New York Times wrote, “Many conferences, for example, announce the so-called hash tag at the start of the event so attendees can mark all their posts the same way and people can search Twitter for everything written on the conference.”
Funnily enough, Twitter had not been the most supportive at the start. The Times also quoted Messina saying back then: “I begged and pleaded for them to support this feature, and they said, ‘No, it’s only for nerds, no one will get it.'”
Eventually, Twitter warmed up to the idea, and started hyperlinking hashtags to make them more user-friendly.
“Over the past 14 years, [the hashtag] has evolved from a user-created way to categorize or ‘tag’ Tweets, to become part of our everyday speech, changing the nature of communication online and becoming one of the most influential symbols of the digital age,” Twitter said in a press release.
To commemorate the day, Twitter came out with a list of 10 hashtags that kept Filipinos talking during the first half of 2021
The first hashtag Filipinos couldn’t help but discuss was one cheering on Rabiya Mateo during the Miss Universe pageant. Mateo ended up finishing in the top 21 of the competition.
The #artph hashtag allowed artists in various formats to show off their art.
Of course, art itself has many uses, from expressing creativity, to providing inspiration, or become a symbol for a stand or opinion, and that was likely most prevalent in the “Tumindig” artwork of Tarantadong Kalbo.
The celebrity connection
Of course, Philippine Twitter would be nothing without people gushing about celebrities. In this case, it’s the Filipino celebrities that got highlighted on Twitter’s radar.
Boy bands Bgyo and SB19 got some time on Twitter with the trending hashtags #bgyo and #sb19. SB19, in particular was notable for having been included in over 31 million tweets.
Meanwhile #darrenespanto and #mainemendoza also made waves.
Lastly #mayward, the love team portmanteau of celebrities MayMay Entrata and Edward Barber, also became a top Philippine hashtag.
Hashtags are also seen as a means of building communities.
The hashtag #stopasianhate trended for a long while due to people supporting Asians around the world in a bid to stop the increasing violence against Asians during the COVID-19 pandemic. It was a way to show concern for Asians and amplify support for them.
The said hashtag, Twitter said, was Tweeted more than 500,000 times in the Philippines.
Meanwhile, game communities also sprung up as a result of new games, with one game in particular standing out due to the amount of attention it got: #genshinimpact.
Genshin Impact players could share game progress or character-inspired cosplays or fan art using the hashtag, making it a hit. Some 2.7 million Tweets were tallied with this hashtag, making it a big deal in the Philippines.
The BTS craze, in meal form
Finally, for fans of K-pop sensation BTS, comes the hashtag to commemorate the release of McDonald’s promotional tie-in: #btsmeal.
It should stand to reason that K-pop is a powerful force on Twitter, seeing as most Asia-Pacific countries had at least one K-Pop related hashtag in its top 10 list during the first half of 2021.
Will we see some variances for the second half of the year? Only time will tell. – Rappler.com