Those of you who have Twitter will be more than familiar with the term ‘hashtag’.
Media convergence, however, has resulted in hashtags being used not just on one online site, but all over the internet. We now see hashtags appear on Facebook, Vine and even on television programmes.
In 2012, Twitter introduced its first television commercial which took place during a NASCAR race (#NASCAR). The movement of convergence enabled the use of hashtags to grow rapidly over the last 4 years. We can argue that the merging of the online world and the television broadcasting industry has been a positive change. For example, when London held the Olympic Games, television advertisements used hashtags to help promote featured events and spread the word, thus creating a greater community spirit.
Similarly, television programmes often use hashtags in the hope to get their programme ‘trending’ online, leading to increased views when their programme broadcasts. Hashtags are also used for ‘Reality TV’ shows where they often publicise their competitions for viewers online.
As for the media industry, this surely must be a good thing – teaming up with a site that has over 270 million active users can’t be a bad thing? If what they say is true, there’s no such thing as bad publicity, so promoting programmes and campaigns via Twitter using the popular hashtag is probably one of the best ideas to come out of the converging movement!