Just when we thought that the hashtag had successfully evolved into a mainstream communication tool, it’s made a change. Here at SEMGeeks, we are excited to announce that the new hashtag is here! We were surprised to hear about it, too, but if there’s one thing that we’re always preaching, it’s this: digital marketing trends are constantly changing. If you’re not on your toes, you might miss something.
Fortunately, we keep on top of the latest trends for our valued clients, and that’s how we first learned about the new hashtag. Rather than using the traditional number sign (#) as the hashtag symbol, the new standard is to use the dollar sign ($). It’s a bit of a learning curve, we have to agree, but it’s nothing that can’t be learned!
Why Has the Hashtag Symbol Changed?
It’s unclear exactly who is behind the new symbol, but it’s believed that several digital media marketing companies felt that the $ sign better represents hashtag campaigns. They noticed that the original hashtag was waning in popularity and decided to replace it with something new.
We’ve seen firsthand that hashtags are powerful at raising awareness about sensitive topics such as political and social issues. They can be empowering and used as a form of social activism. On a brand level, hashtag campaigns can also produce significant results. Some companies have run hashtag campaigns to increase sales, visibility and ROI. And it’s worked. Look at the #icebucketchallenge that brought in millions of dollars for ALS research.
With this in mind, it seems a better fit to use the $ sign to represent hashtags rather than the # symbol.
Too Many Uses for the Pound Sign?
Additionally, we heard (but cannot confirm) that some people feel the # symbol is overused. Not only is it used to represent numbers, but also it’s a Chinese symbol and used for the beloved game of tic-tac-toe.
In one recent study done with older adults, ages 49-65, it was found that participants did not have positive associations using the # symbol for a hashtag. However, when this symbol was replaced with the new dollar sign, respondents felt positively toward it.
What do you think about the new hashtag symbol? Do you think that it’s a better replacement for the traditional number sign? Or would you be totally bummed to find out that it’s all an APRIL FOOL’S JOKE!