If you're like me, you probably started using hashtags without really knowing what they were. Almost a decade back, when I was using social media only as a user, I just saw everyone else using them, so I figured I should too.
Since then with the frequent recent social media algorithm changes and its focus on intent-based content, I've been wondering lately if hashtags are still relevant.
According to a study, Instagram posts with fewer hashtags see more engagement. It seems like fewer and fewer people are using them, at least on the platforms I use most - Instagram.
There's no doubt that hashtags are one of the most popular ways to categorize content and make it easier to find on social media. But with the ever-changing landscape of social media, it's important to stay up-to-date on the latest trends. So, are hashtags still relevant in 2022?
Here is the big question, are hashtags dead?
Well, that might be overstating things a bit. But it does seem like their popularity is waning.
Why is this? Let's take a look at a few possible reasons.
People Don't Understand How to Use Them Properly: This is probably the most common reason why people are giving up on hashtags. They just don't understand how to use them effectively, so they give up and move on.
They're Seen as Being Too Spammy: Hashtags can definitely be abused. I've seen people use so many hashtags that their posts are barely readable. This creates a bad user experience, which can lead people to ditch hashtags altogether.
They are saturated more than ever: In the early days of social media, hashtags were a great way to connect with like-minded people and find new content. But now, there are so many hashtags being used that it's hard to stand out from the crowd. As a result, people are finding other ways to discover content - such as following specific users or using social media algorithms.
Social Media Platforms Are Changing How They Work: This is probably the most significant reason for the decline of hashtags. Facebook, for example, has changed the way its algorithm works multiple times in recent years - and each time, it's become harder for content with hashtags to be seen.
Hashtags might not be dead yet, but they're certainly on life support.
See if any of these reasons resonate with you. If so, it might be time to start reconsidering your hashtag strategy.
While hashtags are not as widely used as they once were, they are still an important tool for many social media users. Here are a few things to consider when deciding if hashtags are right for your content:
So, while hashtags may not be as popular as they once were, they are still an important tool for social media users if used correctly!
Have you noticed a decline in hashtag use on your own social media accounts? Let me know in the comments!