The Hashtag Turns 10 Years Old: Reality Check Digital News

In this week’s digital news, Snapchat embraces influencers with Official Stories, Facebook adds logos to news sources, and the hashtag celebrates its tenth birthday.

Social Media News


Twitter celebrates 10 years of hashtags.

Twitter is celebrating the 10th birthday of the now-ubiquitous “#” as a grouping device for social media text. The “pound” symbol was first used for this purpose on social media by Twitter enthusiast Chris Messina in August 2007. Of course, these were the early days of social media, before the rise of Snapchat, Instagram, and smartphones. Although Messina pitched the idea directly to Twitter, the would-be hashtag was initially brushed off. In fact, Twitter didn’t officially recognize the hashtag until 2011. Obviously, Twitter now heralds the hashtag as one of its defining features. In the decade since its creation, the hashtag has been adopted by most other major social networks, as well as advertisers.


Snapchat produces original scripted content.

Snapchat is stepping further into the television world. Head of content Nick Bell says Snap, Inc. intends to roll out scripted video by the end of this year. The social network has already proven itself a powerful add-on to broadcast hits like The Bachelor and The Voice. Now, Snapchat will produce original shows of its own, in addition to partnering with established entertainment brands to provide content. Original content will be tailored for mobile viewing, with episodes clocking in under five minutes.

Facebook displays publisher logos.

“Fake news” is a hot topic in social media, so Facebook introduced a new way to legitimize news sources. Now, logos appear under article descriptions in search results. This provides users with a visual cue that an article comes from a reliable or trusted source. Familiar logos from outlets like The New York Times and CNN are meant to enhance “people’s awareness of the sources of content they read on Facebook,” according to a blog post on the switch. Logos will also appear in the Trending news column, but have not been added to stories in the news feed itself.

LinkedIn shares native video possibilities for companies.

LinkedIn recently announced new native video capabilities. Now, the network has offered insight about how the feature can be utilized by companies to enhance their businesses. Pete Davies, LinkedIn’s group project manager, shared new insights on why users will want the convenience of uploading videos directly from devices. For example, the new platform is perfect for recruiting — videos can show off workplace culture and perks to prospective employees. Native video also generates interest in upcoming conferences and events. So far, the most popular types of native videos shared on LinkedIn are work projects, behind-the-scenes, and tutorials. Early tests saw video shared 20 times more than static content.

Snapchat invites influencers to Official Stories.

Snapchat hasn’t been as quick to embrace influencers as a lot of other social networks, but that has changed. “Official Stories” were previously reserved for public figures like Hillary Clinton and mega-stars like Justin Bieber. Now, Snap, Inc. is inviting influencers into the mix. Perks of Official Stories capabilities include a customized emoji, personalized Snapchat filters, and greater visibility on the network. Official Stories are the Snapchat equivalent of a verified account on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

Digital News


IAB guides marketers in podcast advertising.

The Interactive Advertising Bureau’s debut episode of the “IAB Podcast Playbook” has arrived. The new podcast is a guide to audio advertising via podcast, a quickly growing resource for marketers. Podcast ad revenues are estimated at $220 million in 2017, up 85% from last year. Since smartphones are the most popular way for users to tune in, including podcasts in mobile marketing strategies is a smart bet for many brands. That’s especially true for brands catering to the younger, more affluent markets who make up podcast listener demos. Two of every three podcast listeners reported high brand recall from podcast ads, and a similar number has said podcast ads have influenced a purchase decision. Forty-four percent of podcast listeners are under 34 years old.

One in four marketers struggles with mobile attribution.

Attribution across devices continues to baffle many marketers, according to a study from RetailMeNot. Some advertisers are combating this challenge through mobile-only or in-app promotion codes, which make users more likely to use the same device throughout their purchase journey. The study also found that a quarter of retailers have difficulty tying mobile marketing to brick-and-mortar sales. Despite the lingering uncertainties regarding attribution, 9 out of 10 retailers say they are investing more in mobile and social media this year.


Published on August 25, 2017

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